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

Day Three: Song Form and Rhythm Patterns

WA SEL Standard: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness

  • 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 feel.

WA Music Standard:

  • Mu:Cr2.1.4 a. Demonstrate selected and organized musical ideas for an improv., arrangement, or composition to express intent, and explain connection to purpose and context.

  • 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.

Age Range: Grades 3-5

Duration: 30 minutes 


  • Legos

  • Songs

  • Song Lyric Sheets

  • Rhyming Patterns Handout

  • Paper and Pencils

Activity One: Song Form

Students learn about Song Form and use Legos to show patterns in popular songs.


  • Introduce the following vocabulary –
    • Form: “a way composers organize music often with repeating sections and patterns”.
    • Chorus: “a section of a song that is repeated often between verses”
    • Verse: “a repeated section of a song with a new set of lyrics at each repetition”.
    • Introduction: “the first part of a song that introduces the feeling and theme before the singing begins”.
  • Assign different Lego colors for each part of the song. For example, red could be the chorus, blue could be the verse and green could be the introduction.
  • Provide student groups with bags of corresponding Lego colors.
  • Play popular songs and have student groups use the colored Legos to recreate the form of each song. (It might be helpful to have the lyrics on the board as students listen).
  • A few song suggestions:
    • “Never Ever Give Up” by Matthew West
    • “The Bare Necessities” by Harris and Reitherman
    • “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison
    • “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley
    • “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    • “I See the Light” by Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi
    • “Imagine” by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band
  • At the end of the song, call on a student to share their answer. Have student groups correct their answers.
  • You may consider labeling the parts of the song form on a lyrics sheet for each song.

Activity Two: Patterns in Music

Students will work in teams to analyze lyrics to find a variety of rhyming patterns. The teacher will demonstrate finding a rhyming pattern, then the class will work together to find the pattern for the song. Lastly, students will work in small groups to find the patterns. 


  • Provide students with the following Rhyming Patterns in Music worksheet.
  • Have students work in pairs or trios to complete the worksheet.
  • “Directions: Please circle each rhyming word. Most often rhyming words are the last word of each line. Once you have identified each rhyming word, label each rhyme with letters A, B, C, etc. to find the pattern. Lastly, write the pattern where it says ‘Rhyme Scheme’.”
  • Demonstrate the first example on the worksheet by circling and labeling each rhyming word and writing the pattern to each rhyme scheme.


Analyze rhyming patterns of the popular songs from the previous activity.

Activity Three: Topic

This activity will allow students to think about what their favorite space theme or characters are in preparation for their lyrics for their songwriting exercise next lesson. 


  • Hand out a piece of paper and pencil to each student and have them answer the following questions as they listen to the accompaniment of their space song:
    • After listening to the accompaniment for our space song, who or what should be the primary topic of our song?
    • What is the mood or emotion of the song?
    • Any last ideas or details that you would like to add?
  • Have students find a partner or trio and share their answers to the questions.

Debrief: Explain to students that they should save their idea for their song and that we will use these ideas when we create our space song