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Monday Morning Ready03.13.2020
Jumpstart Your Week!

Thank a South Korean educational content brand for producing, if not the definitive, assuredly the most-listened-to, version of the earworm "Baby Shark." It was a little over a decade ago, though, in 2007, when "Baby Shark" teased its true potential when a video of the song went viral in Germany.... < read more >
Grade 3-4

Do you know the theme songs for any of the cartoons you watch? How many can you sing? Make a list. Or better yet, give it a try!

Grade 5-6

Why do you think the "Baby Shark" song became so popular? Do you think it would have been as popular without the colorful animated video? Why or why not?

Grade 7-8

According to the article, the song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" was published on its own after appearing in a cartoon film. It was an instant success. What other movie songs can you think of that were huge hits after they were released on their own?

Grade 9-10

If the "Silly Symphonies" songs and videos were released today, do you think they would still be a hit? Why or why not?

Create a Campaign for Music in Your School


  1. Invite volunteers to share the different ways music impacts their lives. Encourage students to describe where they hear music, the types of music they listen to and any musical instruments they know how to play.
  2. Discuss how music fits into your school. For instance, does your school have a music program? If so, does it include singing, band and orchestra? Does it explore different types of music? Do you have designated music teachers? Are music classes part of the curriculum or is music only available as an after-school program? Can all students participate?
  3. After a thorough discussion, encourage students to evaluate the answers and assess the status of music in your school. If your school doesn't have a music program, how can you get one started? If you have one but it is at risk of being discontinued, how can you convince people to keep it? And if you have a music program and it's already successful, how can it be even better?
  4. Once students fully understand the status of music in your school, encourage them to brainstorm ideas about how it can have an even larger presence. Challenge them to create a comprehensive plan for incorporating music more thoroughly into the curriculum. Then have them identify key people they would need to contact to make their plan a reality.
  5. Give students time to create a promotional campaign to support their cause.


Invite students to present their promotional campaigns to the class. As they do, instruct classmates to record key points made in each presentation. After the final presentation, poll the class to see which approach students think has the best chance of succeeding. Challenge them to explain why they chose that particular approach.


Grades 3-4:
Have students complete the project in small groups. Provide poster board and art supplies. Instruct students to create a poster highlighting key ideas for their campaign.
Grades 5-6:
Have students complete the project in small groups. Provide poster board and art supplies. Instruct students to create a poster highlighting key ideas for their campaign. Challenge them to also write a short speech supporting their cause.
Grades 7-8:
Have students complete the project in pairs. Instruct partners to create a storyboard and then produce a one-minute commercial promoting their position.
Grades 9-10:
Have students complete the project in pairs. Instruct partners to create a website promoting their position. Tell students their websites must include at least four pages: an introduction; a page describing the current statues of music in your school; a page outlining reasons why music should be a part of the school's curriculum and a page featuring their ideas for the ideal music program in your school.
Smithsonian Music
Did you know that the Smithsonian’s combined musical resources constitute the world’s largest museum of music? Music is an integral part of the Smithsonian’s connective tissue, spanning a remarkable number and diversity of collections, programs and exhibitions. Visit this site, created for the 2019 Year of Music, to tap into the Smithsonian’s bounty of educational resources, music videos, collection spotlights and more.

The Look of the Listen: The Cover Art of Folkways Records
From 1948 to 1986, Folkways Records produced over 2,000 recordings of remarkable breadth and diversity. This virtual exhibition from Smithsonian Folkways presents the look of Folkways through an exploration of the cover art and design of this extraordinary recording company.

Musical Math-terpiece: The Art of Piet Mondrian
In this lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, middle school students will learn about the life and art of Piet Mondrian, his style influenced by jazz music and his technique using spatial concepts. Students will create a painting in Mondrian’s non-objective style.

Louis Armstrong Education Kit
This History Explorer kit of guided listening activities and streaming music offers an engaging way of introducing students to jazz. It traces Louis Armstrong’s career as a musician, from influences in African rhythms and New Orleans marches through performances in the 1960’s and 70’s. It could be used as an introduction to using music and sound recordings as primary sources.

The Life and Music of Celia Cruz: Her Music
Use this History Explorer resource to introduce students to audio samples of Celia Cruz’s music and video clips of her life and performances. In addition to salsa, Cruz performed many genres of Afro-Caribbean songs. Her repertoire showcased the power of her voice, as well as her skill and mastery of rhythmic complexities.

Hip-Hop and Rap Across the Smithsonian
Through the years, hip-hop has created new traditions and furthered musical and cultural traditions of the African diaspora. Visit this site to explore hip-hop and rap-related collections from across the Smithsonian.

The Invention of the Electric Guitar
In this online History Explorer resource, students will learn how the need for louder guitars led to the invention and proliferation of the electric guitar. They’ll also learn how the emergence and popularity of rock and roll led to the guitar’s commercial success and more innovative designs.

Scientists Show How Humans May Share a “Musical Grammar”
Across 60 cultures, songs sung in similar social contexts have shared musical features. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn why that is significant.