The Phrygian Sonnet: The Effects of Using Music to Teach a Seventh Grade Poetry Unit

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Title: The Phrygian Sonnet: The Effects of Using Music to Teach a Seventh Grade Poetry Unit
Author: Salyers, Bethany Lyn
Advisors: Candy Beal, Committee Member
Steven Katz, Committee Member
Ruie Pritchard, Committee Chair
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to understand what occurred when music was infused into a seventh grade poetry unit. Music was used as a co-text in this study, meaning that it was given equal time, energy, and respect as the poetry used in the unit. The unit was nineteen days long, during which, students learned about narrative, free verse, and lyrical poetry. The students also learned about author's intent, language use, mood, metaphor, interpretation, and the role of the audience. During this unit, the students completed two projects that allowed for students to choose to work with either poetry or lyrics. While the use of music caused no significant growth in content knowledge, there was no negative learning effect either. Students found the unit to be engaging and appreciated the amount of choice given to them. Teacher observations, along with student statements, conclude that the use of music raised interest levels in the poetry unit and made the unit fun. The students also noted that a variety of lesson structure played a positive role in the overall effectiveness of the unit. The issues that were raised in the implementation of this study pertain to the allowance of explicit lyrics, time constraints, and managing the duel roles as both teacher and researcher. Finally, the teacher gained new insights into her teaching and came up with several recommendations for future implementation.
Date: 2003-06-29
Degree: MS
Discipline: Curriculum and Instruction, English Education

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