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Lesson Plan

Music and Me: Visual Representations of Lyrics to Popular Music

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Seven 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D.

Deborah Kozdras, Ph.D.

Tampa, Florida

Denise Haunstetter

Tampa, Florida


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology






  • Computers with Internet access
  • Windows Movie Maker
  • Overhead projector
  • CD player
  • Digital or disposable cameras
  • Scanner (optional)
  • LCD projector (optional)
  • Headphones (optional)

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1. If you do not have computers available for your students to use, you will need to reserve four sessions in your school’s computer lab (see Sessions 3 through 6). If possible, arrange to use an LCD projector during Session 4.

2. Familiarize yourself with Windows Movie Maker. If you have a Windows operating system on your school computers, this should be included in the “All Programs” list on your machines; otherwise, you will need to download it. Windows Movie Maker 2 and Create Home Movies Effortlessly With Movie Maker 2 both have basic information about how to use the program; you may want to add these sites to the Favorites list on your classroom or lab computers.

Prior to having students use the program you should know how to import photos into the software, place photos on the storyline, insert transitions, record music on the audio track, insert picture effects, and write words on the pages. These skills are all outlined in the Using Movie Maker to Create Photomontage Movies sheet.

Note: If you are using a Macintosh operating system, you can use iMovie to complete this project. For support and tips about using this software, go to iMovie HD Support.

3. Review Tech-Ease: Images Q & A for Mac and PC for information about creating digital images and photomontages.

4. Students should come to Session 1 with a song selected for this project; they should have the lyrics printed out or written in a notebook. You should ask them to choose a song from any genre that has personal meaning for them, telling them to bear in mind your school’s policy about profane, sexual, and violent language. They should also choose a song that they have access to because they will need a written version of the lyrics and a recorded copy to listen to. If you have concerns about students choosing songs with appropriate lyrics, you may want to send a parent letter home prior to the lesson that explains the project.

5. Choose your own song to use as an example in Sessions 2 and 3. You will need copies of the lyrics for every student in the class and a recording of the song.

6. Make two copies of the Music and Me Idea Map for each student in the class. Make a transparency of this as well. Make one copy of the Music and Me Project Instructions, Using Movie Maker to Create Photomontage Movies, Rubric for Photomontage Movie, the Self-Reflection on the Music and Me Project, and Music and My Friends for each student in the class.

7. You will need a CD player or computer with speakers to play your song during Session 3. In addition, students will need to listen to their songs; they can do this on your classroom or lab computers if you have headphones available. If you do not have headphones, you may need to assign the activity in Session 3 for homework in between Sessions 2 and 4.

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