If you would like to receive a PDF of this document, please contact Carol Commerford at ccommerford@classic1073.org.

Musical Ancestries: Brazil Lesson Prompts

Musical Ancestries™: Brazil

Each Musical Ancestries episode, through the audio story and Prezi resources, provides a wealth of materials for teachers and parents to use at their discretion. Shape the activity/lesson as you wish. Use bits and pieces of the resources as they fit into your plan or create something new. This is NOT a checklist of activities that must be followed or a curriculum that dictates how you use the resources. The Prezi materials have been vetted for accuracy, authenticity, and child appropriateness so you don’t have to spend time doing so.

Students learn in various ways. Some may benefit more from the story format and adventure and others from independent research. Some students need to see it, some need to hear it, some need to do it. We encourage you to use the audio story and Prezi resources to address the differing learning styles in your classroom.

Lesson Prompts/Idea Board

Start Here

  • Preview Radio Broadcast Story/Audio Recording, Script, and/or Prezi of educational resources

Children’s Radio Story/Audio Recording

  • Play all or part of the Musical Ancestries: Brazil Story/Audio Recording for the students
    1. Prep students for the story/audio recording by introducing select instruments and styles of music through the Prezi. Include vocabulary words/music words.
    2. As students listen to the story/audio recording, have them follow along with a Listening Map or create a listening map of their own.
    3. As students are listening to the audio story, project the script and have them follow along. You can also project photos from the Prezi of instruments and other images of note.
    4. After the listening exercise, ask students to write or talk about their choice of music, instruments, city/country, or traditions incorporating some of the vocabulary words/musical terms learned.

Prezi Educational Resources

  • Delve deeper with your choice of materials and resources from the Prezi presentation.
    1. Play samples of music from select styles/regions/countries and compare and contrast musical elements. What is the same and what is different?
    2. Play “drop the needle” with music from the Prezi or audio recording. Have students try to identify the style, country or region based on the selected music samples. This could be across MA episodes, as well.
    3. Research project: What tree in Brazil is used in making classical music instruments? Prepare a report or use a visual to represent the importance of this tree. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Overview>Geography>Natural Resources and the Amazon>Natural Resources)
    4. To help learn Brazilian greetings, try making up a melody or rhyme. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Overview>Language)
    5. Choro includes improvised solos. What other music genres use improvisation?
    6. Try playing a samba rhythm on the pandeiro. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Music>Samba>Instruments>The Samba Band-Percussion>Do It-Pandeiro)
    7. Learn how to play the Cabasa. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Music>Bossa Nova>Instruments>Cabasa)
    8. Learn how to play the Clave and then try playing the Bossa Nova Clave Rhythm. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Music>Bossa Nova> Instruments> Clave>Do It)
    9. Listen carefully for the sound of the Clave in Samba de Aviao. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Music>Bossa Nova> Instruments> Clave> Hear It)
    10. Learn how to play the Surdo. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Music>Bossa Nova> Instruments>Surdo> Do It)
    11. After Listening to the 4th movement of Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2, what images come to mind? Play the second video with images and see if you had the same ideas. How does the music sound like the pictures? (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Music>Brazilian Classical Music>Extend Your Thinking)
  • DANCE:
    1. Try the Quadrilha danced during Festa Junina. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Culture>Celebration>Festa Junina)
    2. Try out some basic steps to the Samba no Pe. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Music>Samba>Dance>Solo Samba)
    3. Learn the Forro dance to Forro music. Teach it to your family members with help from the video. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Music>Forro> Dance> Do It)
  • DANCE/MARTIAL ART: Learn to do some basic Capoeira moves. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Music>Capoeira>Do It)
    1. Research challenge: Compare break dancing to capoeira. What are the similarities and differences? (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Music>Capoeira>Extend Your Thinking)
  • SCIENCE: Research what product(s) iron ore is used to make in Brazil. Would that product be beneficial to other countries making it a good export? Why?
  • FOOD SCIENCE: Have the students try a traditional Brazilian recipe at home with their family or friends: Brigadeiros and/or Vatapa. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Culture>Food)
  • Have a SCAVENGER HUNT through this episode or across other MA episodes. Keep it simple, not too detailed. Let the students explore.
    1. Find the string, wind, or percussion instruments
    2. Find the dances or the festivals
    3. What other parts of the culture, in addition to music, do you see celebrated at festivals?
  • CRAFTS:
    1. Make three wishes as you tie three knots around your wrist with your Brazilian Wish Ribbon. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Culture>Wish Ribbons)
    2. Make Carnaval Shakers, Fancy Feathers Mask, or Twirling Parrot. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Culture>Celebrations>Carnaval>Carnaval Crafts)
    3. Make a home-made Cabasa. (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Music>Bossa Nova>Instruments>Cabasa>Make It)
  • ELA (English Language Arts: Discussion/Journaling Points
    1. How does the mixed ancestry of Brazilians impact their culture? How is the U.S. population similar to Brazil’s? And, how is it different? How would you visually represent the U.S. population? (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Overview>Population> Extend Your Thinking)
    2. Why do you think religion is mentioned when discussing history or culture? How does religion play a role in shaping the culture of Brazil? Does culture affect religion? (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil> Overview>Religion> Extend Your Thinking)
    3. Try to say 10 phrases for greeting someone in Brazil? (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Overview>Language)
    4. What do you think the Brazilian wish ribbon colors stand for? Do a little research. Are there any ribbon colors and meanings you think should be represented that are not? (Find this in the Prezi: Brazil>Culture>Wish Ribbons)
    5. How do you think having an international hit on the radio in 1916 compares and contrasts to having a hit during the time of social media? How did music spread before technology? How fast did it spread? Who decides what a hit is or what is not a hit? Research question: How has sound recording evolved over time?
  • GEOGRAPHY
    1. On what continent will you find this country?
    2. Where is this country/region in relation to the USA?
    3. Compare the climate or seasons in this country or region with a similar climate/season in the U.S.
    4. Does a country’s position on the globe impact its climate or seasons?
    5. What is important about Brazil’s geography/climate?
  • THEATER: Assign parts and allow students to read/act out the story.
    1. There can be two or three sets of cast members to include more students.
    2. Have students plan what the scenes might be and the stage set-up. Draw a picture or make a diorama or do the real thing.
    3. Create accompanying music similar to that of the audio recording using class instruments or use music from Prezi samples.
  • MEDIA
    1. Student interviews parents/grandparents about family’s musical/cultural heritage using video or other medium
    2. Children/teens create video of Musical Ancestries story
    3. Students do their own version of Musical Ancestries using short video expressions, Tik Tok, crowdsourcing, etc


National Music Standards addressed:

MU: Cn10A.4a

MU: Cn10A.5a

MU: Cn10A.6a

MU: Cn11A.4a

MU: Cn11A.5a

MU: Cn11A.6a

MU: Re7A.4a

MU: Re7A.5a

MU: Re7A.6a

MU: Re7B.4a

MU: Re7B.5a

MU: Re7B.6a

MU: Pr4B.4c

MU: Pr4B.5c

MU:Pr4B.6c

MU: Pr6A.4a

MU: Pr6A.5a

MU: Pr6A.6a