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This Jazz Man cover
THIS                A swinging picture book
 JAZZ                 written by Karen Ehrhardt   This Jazz Man author Karen Ehrhardt
   MAN                    illustrated by R.G. Roth
Curriculum Guide for This Jazz Man

This curriculum guide was written by Karen Ehrhardt and Susan B. Katz, a National Board Certified teacher with over 12 years classroom experience.

Building Prior Knowledge

Before reading This Jazz Man, play some of the featured musicians' music for the class. Or, have the students chant "This Old Man" to get into the cadence and rhythm of This Jazz Man. Then, do a K-W-L t-graph (what we know, what we want to know, what we've learned) about jazz. Prompt students to brainstorm the types of instruments and movements that are used in jazz. Then allow students to ask questions about jazz music and musicians. Record all of this information verbatim on a sheet of chart paper that will be displayed throughout the unit.



K-2: First, take a picture walk through the book, pointing out all of the various instruments and sounds that make up jazz. Pull out rhyming words like snap, tap, slap and bop, pop, bebop and place them on sentence strips. Play a rhyming families game by categorizing the rhyming words in a pocket chart. Then, have pairs of students come up with some of their own rhyming words. Give each pair a starter word and have them list all of the words in that family that rhyme. Finally, read the book to the rhythm of "This Old Man." Encourage students to chime in on first line of each verse, "This jazz man, he plays one." Perhaps you can read the book twice in succession to further enable students to participate. Have students count out the syllables in lines from This Jazz Man: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 ("he-plays-mu-sic-with-his-shoes").

3-5: Students can learn about scat singing through the language of This Jazz Man. Evocative phrases such as, "Beee-diddly-doo-ah! Doooo-AAAAH!" are excellent examples for students to emulate. Have students practice scatting like Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong. After conducting a few examples whole-class, have students partner up to create and write their own scat phrases. "Be-bop, shoo-wap, sisca-diddle scat man" is one example of how students can experiment with this lesson. Another possibility is to break apart the text on separate sheets of paper and allow pairs of students to chant the text of a pre-assigned page.           


Social Studies

K-2: From Virginia to Kansas to Cuba, these jazz greats came from far and wide. After you locate each place of origin on a map or globe, present students with a list of musicians and a list of locations. Have students match each musician to their birthplace Ñ either whole class or individually Ñ by drawing a line between the two. You can also have them label each location on a map with the corresponding musicianÕs name. Use the information you have mapped to teach geographical location (states, countries, continents). Explore local heritage and history, e.g., the reasons why New Orleans is considered the birthplace of jazz. Finally, have a group discussion about nicknames. Bojangles, Baron, Bird Ñ each "jazz man" in the book has a nickname. Can the students guess why Gillespie was dubbed Dizzy or why Armstrong was called Satchmo? Introduce others such Count Basie. Ask the students if they believe Ellington was an actual Duke. Have students share their nicknames and how they came about.

3-5: Read the biographical excerpts from This Jazz Man. Students should select a jazz man or woman to research in depth Ñ in pairs or triads. Discuss the research process and outline components of the project: title page, overview, timeline, upbringing, special musical talent, etc. Students should complete both a written and oral report on their jazz great. (An additional component: encourage students to dress up as their chosen musician for the presentation.) As a culminating activity, invite families to attend and/or videotape the event Ñ enabling students to watch themselves perform.



K-2: The collage work used in This Jazz Man is eclectic and fanciful. Allow students to used mixed media (watercolor, cut paper, magazines, etc.) to combine words, images and numbers. Each student can create a page for a class counting book (e.g., twenty-three students would create pages 1 to 23) featuring a portrait of one of their favorite musicians Ñ jazz or otherwise. (One method: first, have students sketch with pencil, then outline with black marker, and finally add color). Post the pictures on a bulletin board. Later bind the pages in proper sequence to create a class counting book.

3-5: Have students create a portrait of the musician that they researched for their report. Use mixed media and provide students with multicultural markers or paints (www.crayola.com) to accurately portray varying skin tones. Have a This Jazz Man art exhibit or auction where parents and peers can admire and/or purchase artwork on display. Teach money and making change through this art auction activity. And, of course, play recordings by the musicians in This Jazz Man to set the tone for the event!



K-2: Different body parts can make sounds that produce music. Indicate where references in This Jazz Man that describe how the musicians use their bodies. Satchmo snaps his fingers, Bojangles taps his feet, and Chano Pozo beats his conga drums with his hands. Read This Jazz Man aloud emphasizing the rhythm of the text, and have students think of other ways to keep the beat with their bodies. Have students find their individual pulse by placing their hands on their necks or wrists. Have them tap their toes along with their pulse. Do exercises/movements with the children to raise their heart rates. Then, have them find their pulse again. Ask, "Is your heart beating faster or slower?"

3-5: Explain that music can have a fast beat or slow beat Ñi.e., tempo Ñ and follow a rhythm or pattern. Give students an introduction to the various instruments and how they sound. Have students listen to selections of jazz and try to identify which instrument is playing at which time. After they develop a keener sense of jazz sounds, students can experiment making their own instruments, such as a facial tissue box with rubber bands stretched over it, or drinking glasses filled with different amounts of water. Hypothesize how the sound changes depending on whether the box or glasses are full or empty. Have students conduct a science fair and combined musical performance where they demonstrate their musical experiments to parents and peers.

 Curriculum Guide created by Karen Ehrhardt & Susan B. Katz - www.katzconnects.com