Ballad Teacher Resources

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What do the theme song from Gilligan's Island, the nursery rhyme "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat," and the poem "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" all have in common? Why, they're ballads of course! Challenge your young balladeers to compose their own storytelling poems using supermarket tabloids as source material. Complete directions for the activity, as well as models, are included in the packet. Consider transforming the classroom into a coffee house and scheduling live performances.
"Ballad for Americans" was a song written for performers participating in the Federal Arts Project, during The Depression. Learners will analyze the lyrics of the song and then create informational posters about other Federal Works Projects, such as the CCC and FPW. They will also get a chance to perform their own version of the song.
Students explore the poetic ballad. They examine the rhythm of a typical ballad and listen to recitations of sample ballads. They choose an article from a supermarket tabloid and write a comical ballad using rhythms and structures studied.
Students compare and contrast different forms of communication.  For this poetry lesson, students focus on the ballad form and read "Timothy Winters". Students draw conclusions from the ballad and divide into groups to research the definition and other examples of ballads. 
Students listen to and analyze the ballad "American Pie." They utilize a worksheet imbedded in this plan. They circle the appropriate descriptive words of the song's medium form, melody, tempo and dynamics, and style.
Students write epic poems, songs, or ballads to describe adventures of their own. They discover that storytellers often told stories as epic poems, songs, or ballads. They share and discuss some of Homer's Odyssey and Iliad.
Sixth graders write a song.  In this Middle Ages lesson, 6th graders read the ballad Barbara Allen and answer comprehension questions.  Students create their own ballad using a rhyme scheme.
Students create "cowboy ballads" in this interactive, multi-day lesson. The cowboy is researched using various sources and class discussions. Students evaluate individual work at the end of the lesson.
Start your unit by reading the "Ballade des Pendus," by the character Villon. The class makes predictions, discusses what they might already know about the text, and reads the selection together. There are step-by-step plans detailed here for the teacher. 
Students create and perform Corridos which are oral tradition ballads. In this Passing Down Family History Through Oral Tradition lesson, students interview family members using a predetermined list of questions. In addition, students collect artifacts to enhance the information gathered from the interview. Lastly students compare corridos to other forms of music and oral tradition. Worksheets are included for activities.
Eighth graders study the 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner.' They study the ballad and explore style and technique. Students use the internet and search previously identified news sites for current items of interest. They use images copied and saved from these items the students then write a ballad that conformed to the accepted form of a ballad.
Pupils write a ballad from a farmer's point of view on trade. In this farmer's lesson plan, students listen to a farmer speak about fair trade, have a dialogue about it, and write a ballad to interpret their point of view.
Pupils determine the meaning of the content of a German poem. They study German folklore and look at different structural patterns in German and English. They illustrate a quote from a poem and sing German ballads.
Analyze poetry for irony and theme. The historical bombing of the church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963 as described in "The Ballad of Birmingham," is examined. Mood, tone, and theme form the basis of this instructional activity.
Students listen to a story, "Ballad of Princess Penny." Students hang up poster board villages at the appropriate points in the story. Students answer questions about the story.
Students participate in a Medieval celebration as a part of novel analysis study for Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. For this novel celebration lesson, students participate in costume activities, food parties, music, games, and other interactive programs for the novel.
In this ballad research paper instructional activity, learners complete the 6 short answer questions to build an outline to be used to write their own research paper and essay pertaining to ballads.
In this original music composition worksheet, students compose a piano accompaniment for their own original ballads as they follow the 7 steps on this worksheet,
In this ballad composition worksheet, students compose a ballad in any key as they write a 12 line rhyming poem and continue to follow the other 6 steps to create their original ballad.
Students read the poem "The Ballad of Captain Super". As a class, they discuss the use of literary codes by authors and poets. In groups, they identify the relationship between the literary codes and figurative language. To end the lesson, they complete a test on context clues.

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