Art Activity

Students listen to music about water and react to different tempos and moods with creative activities.

What You Need

  • recorded music with sea/water themes
  • playback equipment (if possible, with earphones)
  • art materials

What to Do

  1. Gather, with student help, examples of music with water themes. These might include such classical works as Smetana's “The Moldau,” Debussy's “La Mer,” and Handel's “Water Music.” Traditional music might include “Shenandoah,” “Haul Away, Boys,” “Rio Grande,” or “The Erie Canal.” Include appropriate popular music as well.
  2. Play several pieces (or passages) with contrasting moods as the entire group listens. Encourage students to react by moving their bodies, swaying or using their hands, for example, to imitate the rhythm and tempo of the music.
  3. Set up playback equipment where students can listen to the music and react. Have students listen, on their own or in small groups, to all the available pieces, then choose one they would like to work with creatively. Tell students they can use various creative means of expression, such as poetry, lyrics, rap, art, dance, pantomime, voice, or instruments.
  4. Plan, with students, to have a Water Festival, during which they can share their creative presentations. In the interim, have individual students consult with you on the progress of their work. If some students are reluctant or self-conscious about sharing their creative work, you may find that pairing them with supportive classmates will give them the confidence to participate.
  5. For the Water Festival, decorate the room with student art and anything else that has a water motif. Choose a student (or a family member) to coordinate the playback equipment as students perform. If possible, tape the performances.

Teaching Options

  • Invite family members and other classes to enjoy the art and performances during the Water Festival. Request that all the refreshments be made, in some way, with water; for example, reconstituted juice, flavored water or ice, or a pudding base mixed with water.
  • Celebrate a recreational area at a local river, lake, or pond by having students learn all they can about the area and put together an informational booklet about it for the local tourist/visitor center.
  • Some children might enjoy writing stories about water. For example, they might try describing the flow of water from the point of view of one drop of rain. Another theme might be what happens when a community is faced with the loss of a source of water.