Lesson Plan

Create a Poem, Song, or Rap on GarageBand

Use GarageBand to Assess Student Understanding About a Person in History
Stacy B.
Classroom teacher
Canyon Lake Middle School
Lake Elsinore, United States
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My Grades 6, 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Social Studies, English Language Learning

Students will be able to use their understanding from a chapter to write a poem about a significant person in history, and then collaborate on GarageBand adding music to their poem. 


English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 6 – 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Attention Getter

1. (Before class) Create a short and high-interest topic GarageBand show.

2. When students come in, show the class your pre-made GarageBand show- perhaps a couple times.

3. Quickly discuss and model the very basic key elements used (microphone, template beat, or original beat, etc.)

4. Inform students that they will have 6 minutes to create a GarageBand show on anything school appropriate. This is to introduce the most basic features of the App, assess prior knowledge about using the App, and grab their attention. 

5. After the 6 minutes, showcase a couple of students' shows. Discuss any impressive features. 

2 Direct Instruction

1. Clarify or model the appropriate use for any basic features of GarageBand that were left out, misused, or confusing for students during the 6 minute exploration time.

2. Inform students that they will take their previously created poems about the Prophet Muhammad and work in groups of 3 to form the best poem (using the best ideas from all individual poems)

3. Inform students they will then collaborate to create a GarageBand show using the features we were introduced to, and more if they are experienced users. 

3 Collaborative Student Time (part 1)

Activity: Conversing

1. Inform students what your expectations are (outlined in the student instructions).

2. Walk around the classroom to monitor productivity and understanding.

Student Instructions

1. First create the best poem possible- following the same format as individual assignment.

2. Create a plan for your GarageBand- the beat, who will read which parts- the script, volume, background noise distractions, your reading tone, and most importantly be sure to consider how the cultural differences should be respected.

3. Practice reading your parts out loud.

4 Collaborative Student Time (part 2)

1. Inform students what your expectations are (outlined in the student instructions).

2. Walk around the classroom to monitor productivity and understanding. 

Student Instructions

Tips for GarageBand:

1. Adapt your original plan to fit your needs.

2. You may record outside to minimize background noise. 

3. Be sure to adjust the volume of your voices and the volume of the beat/music.

4. Record one student's part at a time.

5. Re-record each part as needed. Always play back whatever was just recorded before moving on. 

6. Consider your pace and fluency. 


When you finish, return to your group of desks. 

5 Showcase (Assessment)

1. When groups are finished, instruct students to flip their iPads over and learn how to display their show. 

2. Demonstrate how to AirPlay the GarageBand show on to the ViewSonic Board (or any projector). 

3. Inform students what audience expectations you have (outlined in Student Instructions).

4. Begin presentations

Student Instructions

1. While watching other groups' shows, be sure to identify 1 area of strength and 1 area of opportunity. 

2. While watching your own show, be sure to identify your own strength and area of opportunity.

3. Be respectful. Keep your iPad face down so you are not tempted to work on your own project. 


6 Wrap-Up

Activity: Assessing

1. Inform students that they should reflect on what they did well and what they could improve on for next time. 

Student Instructions

1. Reflect on your learning. Include a paragraph regarding your strengths and another based on how you can improve for next time. Consider the following: use of tech, group work, specific app use, content comprehension, timing, and showcase