Lyrics and Language Arts
Eighth grade students at Waukee South Middle School recently participated in a cross-curricular activity combining elements of their chorus classes with skills they practice in language arts classes. Students came in one morning before school to listen to songs they are currently singing in chorus and analyzed the poems on which they are based. Brent Peterson, the chorus instructor, played the songs “The River Sleeps Beneath the Sky” and “Stars I Shall Find” for the students. In language arts classes, students have recently been focusing on how tone and mood is established through writing with their teachers Toni Lindblade, Lydia Moes, Lyra Wikert, and Jess Elliott. The “Poets and Donuts” meeting encouraged students to apply this same line of thinking to the lyrics of their chorus songs, focusing on how to translate the tone, mood, and emotions through their performances. Students also looked into the themes of the songs and how these themes related to texts read in language arts classes. Many students were in attendance and staff involved plan to host similar cross-curricular activities throughout the remainder of the school year.