B is for Blues, the heart of jazz, and some of the best jazz cats have been hip to the blues!
Go on a riotous romp through some of the foundations of jazz in this fun and educational look at America’s golden era of music. Readers are transported into the Jazz Age through sweeping, bold illustrations and lyrical profiles of historical figures and musical terms. Featuring a glossary of jazz slang, this ABC primer is sure to inform and delight readers and music lovers of all ages.
Book #1 J is for Jazz By Ann Ingalls, Illustrated by Maria Corte Maidagan
Text Rationale - I will use a series of four different books for understanding different music genres from around the world. Each book will be analyzed and evaluated within the series so that the students will be able to apply their knowledge of music genres when listening to music. This book “J is for Jazz” uses the letters of the alphabet and vivid illustrations to support the various artists, history, and instruments of jazz music.
Opening Moves: 1. Promote predictions based on the title. 2. Provide important background information. 3. Draw attention to the genre.
As we start our World Music Unit, we will be exploring different types of music from around the world. Some of the sounds from the different music you may recognize, and there will be others you may have not. We will explore world music in different ways. We will read books, listening to audio examples, and watch some videos.
1. Promote predictions based on the title.
(Holding Book Cover towards Students) Our first book is “J is for Jazz”. Take a moment to look at the cover of the book, and then silently think about how you might learn about the many different parts of Jazz. Brief pause, now share your answer with the person sitting next to you. Brief pause, who would like to share their answer? (Point out using the letter “J” that looks like a saxophone and ask students if they have read books that use letters of the alphabet to describe different things.)
2. Provide important background information.
So now let us begin our journey to discover the many different types of world music. To start we will stay right in America and look at Jazz. J is for Jazz. (title page) (Start reading next two pages of text. The story of Jazz! Jazz is a kind of music that began in the United States in the late 1800’s. Jazz grew from a mixture of different kinds of music, including black American music and African rhythms. Jazz musicians often make up music as they play it. Musicians call this improvisation. Improvisation is part of what makes jazz different from other kinds of music. Another important part of jazz is called syncopation. In syncopation... Jazz may be performed by a single musician or by a small group of musicians called a combo.. Many instruments are used to play jazz…. The earliest jazz was performed by African Americans who had not studied music formally.
3. Draw attention to the genre.
(After reading the first page) Now that we have read about the style of Jazz, let us discuss some of the ways Jazz music is played. Who remembers how Jazz musicians make up their music? (Discuss the term and meaning of improvisation.) How many performers does it take to play jazz? (Discuss “single musician or by a small group of musicians called a combo,”) Who performed the “earliest jazz” music and where did they perform at? (Discuss African Americans started in the late 1800’s and how they played for funerals and parades.)
(Finish reading second page of background information) Now you know some of the history of the marvelous music know as jazz! Let’s get started with the letter A in the alphabet and ready about what it represents for jazz music.
A is for America’s Music. It ab-so-tive-ly began with African American rhythms. And how! (draw attention to the drums on the page) B is for Blues, the heart of jazz. Its sad, simple sound helped give jazz it’s flavor. Some of the best jazz cats have been hip to the blues!
Pinnell, G. S., & Fountas, I. C. (2006). Engaging readers in thinking and talking about texts through interactive read aloud. Teaching for comprehending and fluency: Thinking, talking, and writing about reading, k-8. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Publishing.
A lovely introduction to Jazz, ideal for elementary aged kids. It would be fun to read parts of this during a storytime and have fun with the jazz vocabulary (there's a great glossary of the terms). Afterwards, you could be inspired by the improvisational nature of jazz and play music together.