The Music of Poetry: Decoded

HPIM4725The Music of Poetry: Decoded
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subject – Social Studies
Grade Level (5th)
by Janet H. Berry, Celeste Henkel Elementary, Iredell-Statesville Schools, North Carolina

Unit Overview:
Three lessons using poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), Francis Scott Key (1779 – 1843), and Emma Lazarus (1849 – 1887) to explore the theme of Liberty.
These lessons may be used with the week-long celebration called Freedom Week.

Standards, Goals and Objectives:
Language Arts
1.   5.RL.5.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

  • Students will determine the overarching theme of these three poems, written by three very different poets in response to events in our nation’s history.
  • Students will determine how characters in the poem respond to challenges set before them.
  • Students will summarize the text.

2.   5.RL.5.6 Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described.

  • Students will listen to various performances and describe how the point of view influences how events are described.

Social Studies-
1.  5. C.1.4 Understand how cultural narratives (legends, songs, ballads, games, folk tales and art forms) reflect the lifestyles, beliefs and struggles of diverse ethnic groups.

  • Students will determine how the lifestyle, beliefs, and struggles of the authors were reflected in their poetry.



Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3


Teacher Guides, Materials, Activities, and Resources are all specified in each lesson page.

About the Author

Janet H. BerryJanet H. Berry,
Mrs. Berry has taught K-5 general music at Celeste Henkel Elementary/Iredell-Statesville Public Schools in Statesville, NC from Aug. 2005 to present. Mrs. Berry was Celeste Henkel’s Teacher of the Year 2011-2012 and a District Top Five Teacher of the Year that same year. Mrs. Berry holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music Education from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC,Orff Certification–Level III, Kodaly Level II.

About Banner Moments
Made available as part of the 2014 Banner Moments K-12 Institute—a project of the American Music Institute of the University of Michigan and the Star Spangled Music Foundation, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities

This entry was posted in Elementary, F.S. Key, Fort McHenry, Fort McHenry, Grade Level, Grades 3-5, History, Language Arts, Library of Congress, NEH, Poets & Patriots, Revolutionary War, Smithsonian, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Web Resources. Bookmark the permalink.