SEL-Music Unit: Who Am I? Exploring Inner and Outer Space

Unit Overview

This lesson was developed by Tiana Shuford - Northshore School District. The lesson format, with its Welcoming Inclusion, Engaging Strategies and Optimistic Closure are based on the components of the SEL 3 Signature Practices Playbook 2019

Table of Contents

Day One: Gaining Space Context with Feelings

  • Activity 1: Four Corners - Feelings with Songs
    Students respond to music excerpts and assign an emotion that best fits the feeling of the song. Each corner will be designated as a set of emotions from the Zones of Regulation.
  • Activity 2: Space Vocabulary Chart (Part 1)
    Class will create a vocabulary chart about space. Part 1 focuses on the “Word” and “Predictions” columns.
  • Activity 3: Space One Word Quip
    This activity is a quick way to end the discussion. Each student provides a one-word answer to a prompt, “What is one feeling or emotion that you associate with being in Space?”

Day Two: Space Context

  • Activity 1: Pantomime in Space
    Students will practice pantomiming in small groups and as a whole class. The second part of the activity will focus on moving like objects in space. 
  • Activity 2: Space Vocabulary (Part 2)
    Class will finish the “definition” and “sentence” columns in the Space Vocabulary Chart from last lesson. Students will also create an action for each word.
  • Activity 3: Space Read Aloud
    Instructor will read a space-themed illustrated book to help students further engage with the concept of what it might feel like to be in space

Day 3 - Song Form & Rhyming Patterns

  • Activity 1: Introduction to Song Form
    Students learn about Song Form and use Legos to show patterns in popular songs.
  • Activity 2: Rhyming Pattern
    Students will work in teams to analyze lyrics to find a variety of rhyming patterns.
  • Activity 3: Topics
    Students will brainstorm space song ideas including the mood and possible topics of their song.

Day 4 - Write Song Verses in Groups

  • Activity 1: Mix and Mingle
    This activity is designed to set expectations of inclusive communication about songwriting while engaging in the questions: “How can composers use their emotions for their songwriting?”
  • Activity 2: Composing a Song
    Students will work in teams to analyze lyrics to find a variety of rhyming patterns.

Learning Standards

SEL Standards:

  • SEL.3-5.1A.3 Identify thoughts that are caused by emotions and feelings and how these thoughts affect my actions.

  • SEL.3-5.2A.2 Select and practice specific self-management skills to maintain self-control.
  • SEL.3-5.4A.1 Identify verbal, physical, and situational cues that affect how others may feel.  
  • SEL.3-5.5A.2 I can perform different roles in cooperative groups (e.g., leader, recorder, time-keeper, reporter).

Music Standards (based on 4th grade):

  • Mu:Cr2.1.4 a. Demonstrate selected and organized musical ideas for an improvisation, arrangement, or composition to express intent, and explain connection to purpose and context.
  • Mu:Cr3.2.4 a. Present the final version of personal created music to others, and explain the connection to expressive intent.
  • MU:Pr4.2.4 a. Demonstrate understanding of the structure and the elements of music (such as rhythm, pitch, and form) in music selected for performance.
  • Mu:Cn11.1.4 a. Demonstrate understanding of relationships between music and the other arts, other disciplines, varied contexts, and daily life.

Attribution and License


This lesson was developed by Tiana Shuford - Northshore School District

SEL 3 Signature Practices Playbook copyright Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and developed by the 2016-2017 Oakland Unified School District SEL Team based on the 2013 work of CASEL Consultant Ann McKay Bryson. | License Agreement

Social Emotional Learning: Standards, Benchmarks, and Indicators developed for the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction by the SEL Workgroup is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Washington Arts K–12 Learning Standards by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License.

Cover image by psc631798 from Pixabay 


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Except where otherwise noted, this lesson by Northshore School District is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. All logos and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.