Cross-curricular Learning: Year 3 Writing, Poetry and Composing Musical Poems

Student composition inter curricular learning

In their English lessons, Year 3 students were learning to identify these elements of poetry: rhyme, similes, metaphors and onomatopoeia, and then write their own poems.

In Music lessons, learning intentions for Year 3 students were to experiment with and create vocal sounds and vocal effects, then organise these vocal/sound effects for group performances.

Students were given these poems to inspire creation of sound/vocal effects:

  • Listen to the rain
  • Grandpa’s car
  • Bushland Symphony
  • March of the Dinosaurs
  • Voices of the Sea

(From Music Room, A Developmental Classroom Music Program.)

Success criteria was about how effective the vocal/sound effects were in enhancing the poems, and how the class as their audience rated their group performances.

The next steps in learning were created by the students when they requested that they write their own musical poems and compose musical scores using vocal/sound effects and percussion instruments in their performances.

Watch some of our creative Year 3 musical poems!

Why is cross-curricular teaching important? 

Research shows that cross-curricular learning experiences provide students with opportunities to apply their thinking skills from other learning areas to link their learning across subject areas. “It allows children to make connections between prior knowledge and new information being introduced.” *

So it is with learning. When professional educators combine their energies, and reinforce the same deep learning, the stream of information is clearer for the student, the learning activities are more fluid, and the student’s reservoir of knowledge and skills fills faster.

Cross-curricular learning increases motivation

Interdisciplinary/cross-curricular teaching can increase students’ motivation for learning and their level of engagement. In contrast to learning skills in isolation, when students participate in interdisciplinary experiences they see the value of what they are learning and become more actively engaged (Resnick, 1989).

Cross-curricular teaching improves learning

Interdisciplinary/cross-curricular teaching provides the conditions under which effective learning occurs. Students learn more when they use the language arts skills to explore what they are learning, write about what they are learning, and interact with their classmates, teachers, and members of the community (Thaiss, 1986).

*Unknown source, cited here.

Harburg quote A song makes you feel a thought.

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