• Eliza Smith

Curriculum Corner: Womxn's History Month

March is Womxn's History Month and what better way to celebrate womxn than through music! This month in my Pre-K and Kinder classrooms I introduced the following fabulous music icons and their genres:

Joan Baez - Folk music

Together we learned about how Joan Baez used folk music to shed light on important causes like world peace and civil rights. We tied her activism to fellow activist Martin Luther King Junior who they had learned about in February. I shared a video of Joan singing "We Shall Overcome" in 1965 and another video of her singing "Blowin' in the Wind" in April 2020. To tie in some aural skills we learned our pentatonic scale in solfege and how it fits into a lot of folk music including our singalong for the day: Peace Like a River

Ella Fitzgerald - Jazz

We had a blast watching and listening to Ella Fitzgerald perform "A Tisket a Tasket". The kids loved learning how to scat sing in a classic, call and response format. We then watched Ella's performance of "Old Macdonald" on The Ed Sullivan show. Inspired by our new scat skills, we made our own jazzy version of Old Macdonald, just like Ella!

Here is our video inspiration:

Selena Quintanilla - Tejano

Selena's magical stage presence and danceable beats make her a hit in the classroom! We learned about all of the different musical styles and instruments that blend together to make the unique sound of Tejano music. We also learned about how influential Selena was on the then male-dominated world genre of Tejano music. It was so hard for everyone to sit still while listening to Selena that we HAD to have a dance party. We all danced and followed along with Selena in her Astrodome performance of "La Carcacha". We also learned about four instruments that make the Tejano sound: the accordion, synthesizer, bass, and vocals.

Dolly Parton - Country Music

From her beautiful smile and big hair to her sparkling costumes and beautiful voice, Dolly Parton enchants students immediately. Together we learned about the influence of the ballad on country music as well as the different sounds of guitars. We traveled to Appalachia and Nashville to watch Dolly perform and we learned about the different types of philanthropy that Dolly practices today. Together we learned the song "Tennessee" and pretended to play guitars, just like Dolly.

I really enjoyed learning more about these four iconic womxn musicians! Below are activity sheets about each musician. If you use any of the resources in this post or you were inspired to make your own womxn centered music curriculum, please share in the comments! I would love to hear about what worked in the classroom and what you customized to fit your needs.

Happy learning!

Lesson summary

Age: 5 - 7

Topic: Womxn's History: Joan, Ella, Selena, Dolly

Summary: Explore the diversity of Folk, Jazz, Tejano, and Country music through the lens of contemporary history and womxn's experiences.

Joan Baez
Download PDF • 1.07MB
Ella Fitzgerald
Download PDF • 1.37MB
Dolly Parton
Download PDF • 1.40MB
Download PDF • 2.13MB


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