Lesson: Yup’ik Song, Dance and Story

My lesson, Yup’ik Song, Dance and Story, looks specifically at Alaska Cultural Standard E. Making local knowledge relevant on a global scale is truly where my interest in music education lies. In my lesson plan, students take a modern approach to passing on cultural knowledge by creating digital soundtracks to characters of the quliraq (Yup’ik legend) the Hungry Giant of the Tundra. Through indigenous ways of teaching and learning such as; group work, indirect teaching and storytelling, students will develop the skills and techniques needed to create their own way of sharing a Yup’ik legend with younger students. In short, the project is designed for high school students to make a music resource for elementary school classrooms. At the deepest level, this lesson is about song and dance which are universal human activities that express emotions and tell stories.

I have attached a pdf teacher version in the UdB unit format and a pdf version of my student oriented chapter:

Teacher Version

Pdf of Student iBook Version


6 thoughts on “Lesson: Yup’ik Song, Dance and Story”

  1. As usual, really well though out…but also, this was really helpful for me to view as a music teacher.. I just discovered the content standards yesterday, and the way you had them laid out was really helpful. Also, I like that in addition to links to Garageband, you separately link how-to videos for garageband.
    You mention that the student made videos could be shared with younger students, which is such a powerful connection and gives the older students some accountability for their effort. I also like that you ask students to tell the story, and provide a moral, from the perspective of their character. That could lead to some great conversations, especially with younger audiences.

  2. I love the idea that in your lesson that the high school students will make music and stories for the elementary students to use or perform. This is teaching the students to be teachers and I think there should be more passionate, knowledgeable and competent teachers in the world. I would like to see and hear some of these stories from the students, for the students when they are complete!

  3. Anything that gets students involved is amazing and that is what your lesson does. The fact that you have one group writing for another, is a great idea. I love the aspect of passing cultural knowledge in this way, job well done.

  4. Student-centered with an underlying current in respect to cultural values and ways of teaching. Absolutely love this lesson and am very intrigued. As one lacking in any musical abilities, it’s so creative even I would be inspired to take a stab at it. And when you do end up teaching this lesson, which I really hope you do, let me know so I can pass it on to Mr Josh’s TCLL K-1 class for some distant learning =) I love volunteering him to pilot stuff… and I think he’d love something like this in his classroom.

    1. Yes, I plan on using this lesson plan next year. I’d love to involve Mr Josh in this lesson. Let’s keep in touch about this!

  5. Heidi this is incredible, I have to chime in with the same remarks as the others. The fact that the final product is for elementary school kids made from the high schoolers is genius, it gives pressure to the students that their product has an audience. I wasn’t able to open the file for some reason, but I would’ve like to seen the garage band links Meghan referred to. I’m excited for your future students!

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