Ella Fitzgerald Teacher Resources
Find Ella Fitzgerald educational ideas and activities
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Time in Jazz
Learners examine time and meter in the jazz idiom. They analyze Take the A Train and Take Five. They research websites featuring Ella Fitzgerald and her music.
Ella Fitzgerald: Something to Live For
Students examine the basic characteristics of jazz, and its relationship to African-American culture and history. They listen to examples of jazz, conduct research, and create a 20th century timeline of music and historical events.
Smithsonian Jazz Class: Ella Fitzgerald
Students play "Ella's Match Game" to learn an overview of Fitzgerald's life and career. In this Ella Fitzgerald lesson, students listen to excerpts of Fitzgerald's music and respond by creating writing prompts.
VH1 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll Lesson 3
Learners examine female artists who perform in the genres of rhythm & blues, jazz, soul, and hip-hop/rap. They compose lyrics and melody in one of these genres.
Lady Sings the Blues
Students explore women and music in the 20th century. In this music instructional activity, students study the relationship between literature and music through The Color Purple and music by Ethel Waters, MA Rainey, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, and Janis Joplin.
The Harlem Renaissance or "If Renaissance Means Rebirth, Where Is the Baby?"
Students examine the significance of the Harlem Renaissance. In this African American history lesson plan, students investigate images and biographies about African Americans who contributed writing and art during the time period. Students use KWL charts and notes to determine how the work of artists and writers reflected the changing society.
Draw Me the Music
Students explore and investigate the foundation and history of jazz music. They listen to various pieces of music while creating drawings, develop a timeline of jazz history, and read and discuss biographies of famous jazz musicians.
Tradition through storytelling and music
Students discover how storytelling can shape a person's tradition.Students examine different methods of storytelling such as music, biographies, and African folktales. They then demonstrate their knowledge of storytelling by writing their own verses of lyrics to a blues song.
Welcome To Ella Fitzgerald: the Singer Not the Song
Students study the life and musical works of Ella Fitzgerald. They investigate how technology influences art using this series of web and video based lessons. They create their own melodies.
Women in Jazz
Pupils watch a video: "VH1 Millennium Jazz Festival From The White House" to become familiar with prominent women in jazz. They discuss the vocally oriented nature of jazz and the contributions made by women on and off stage.
The Jazz Age Featuring Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Others
Fifth graders view pictures of jazz age performers. In this jazz history lesson, 5th graders discuss the difference between primary and secondary sources, view a PowerPoint presentation of great jazz musicians and discuss what they see.
Jazz and Math: Improvisation Permutations
Learners explore the various rhythmic combinations in jazz and blues music. They watch a video segment, apply a mathematical formula to calculate the number of possible rhythmic combinations, and perform a combination of notes and rhythm on a keyboard.
Jazz and World War II: A Rally to Resistance, A Catalyst for Victory
High schoolers examine the impact of WWII on the development of jazz music and consider how jazz music helped to boost morale of both soldiers and those left at home. They identify the function of jazz as a cultural export and discuss its worldwide effects.
Jazz and Math: Improvisation Permutations
Young scholars observe that there are myriad combinations of rhythms to choose from when improvising jazz and blues music, and recognize that while the variations seem infinite, they are in fact finite. They notate a 12 bar blues progression using a different combination of notes and rhythms for each of the 12 bars, and then perform it on a keyboard or virtual piano online.
Jazzing Up the Classroom
Tune-up mundane subjects with some lively jazz for a cross-currricular kick!
Students investigate the African American culture in the 1920's and the Harlem Renaissance. They read and analyze poems written by poets of the Harlem Renaissance, listen to jazz music and identify the characteristics of the music, and answer a discussion question.
Jazz in America Lesson Plan 5
Students survey Bebop and identify the basic terms associated with jazz.They experience the music of Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday and participate in a class discussion regarding jazz's contribution to and reflection of American culture in the 1940s and early '50s.
Expressions - Activity 1
Students create wax sculptures of a full body using mathematical calculations and information gathered from a video in this excellent art project. The lesson can be used along or within the unit provided.
Students engage in a activity that deals with a historical figure from the area of Mississippi. Then questions are asked of them using a game show format that is followed with additional ones used for brainstorming for more ideas of inquiry.
The Black Snowman, An Interdisciplinary Unit
Sixth graders make a two column chart listing ten African Americans in one column and their detailed contribution to our society in the second column. Then, they select one of the famous African Americans to research and then create a six slide PowerPoint presentation according to the criteria in the handout provided. Finally, 6th graders write a one-page personal narrative regarding their knowledge and opinions of discrimination.