Making Music in the Garden, Part 2

This post is a continuation of a lesson from June called Making Music in the Garden: A Summertime Lesson in Music Integration.

How do you think nature and music are connected?

Peas don’t just come from the frozen section in the groceries store, and music isn’t just for professionals on the radio. In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it is easy to forget where the things we enjoy come from, and how we can take part in bringing these things to life.

Do you, or I, or anyone know how oats, peas, beans, and melodies grow?

We’re big into music integration at Music in Schools Today. Even though school is out and music programs are on a brief hiatus, it’s still important to integrate music into children’s everyday lives.

Here is a taste of one of our programs, Nature of Music. This lesson integrates music into learning about nature in the garden, by planting seeds that will grow into delicious snacks in just a few weeks time. It’s a good way to get kids outside learning about the world around them, and about science and music. Try it this summer! Get outside, make some music, and learn something!

In our last lesson, we planted pea plants and learned about how plants grow and are tended through singing the song “Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grow”. In this lesson, we will build on that knowledge, and introduce new information about how our pea plants are growing!

You will need:

  • Picture of pea plant, labeled with plant parts
  • Large paper with words “Roots, Stems, Leaves, Flowers, Fruits, Seeds”


Review the previous lesson regarding pea plants.  Have children brainstorm what will happen to the plants next.

Looking at a picture of a pea plant, identify the different parts and their purposes. Write on large white paper “Plant Parts”. Next, write key words on paper (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds) to be used later in class for rhythmic composition.

Have students brainstorm about what the purpose of each part of the plant is. For example: roots help the plant stand and give foundation to the plant, stems transport water, bends like our spine, and brings us to where we need to go. Leaves make food like our digestive systems, flowers attract pollinators, and fruits hold seeds and attract animals for seed dispersal. Lastly, seeds hold embryos for new plants.

Transition into Rhythmic Composition Activity:
Begin by singing the song Roots, Stems, Leaves and have the children do the hand motions for the plant parts. The lyrics and motions can be found here.

Say “roots”—how many sounds in that word?  Mark number of syllables as a tally.
Say “stem-seed”—how many sounds in these words?  Mark the number of syllables again.
Say “flowers, flowers”- how many sounds in that phrase? Mark the number of syllables.

When we play and say “roots” we are making one sound on the beat. When we play and say “stem-seed” we are making two sounds on the beat. When we play and say “flower, flower” we are making four sounds on the beat. We can take the beat and divide it into 2 equal parts, or 4 equal parts.

Draw four circles on the paper. Have a student say any of the four words in this lesson: “roots”, “stems-seed” “flower, flower”. For example, “roots, roots, stem- seed, flower, flower”.  Writes the words above the circles and fill in the number of sounds in the circle for each word. Do a number of these as an example.

Have the class choose one of the examples. Say, “this is one bar”. A “bar” for our purposes, for now, will mean a four-beat phrase. Have the students repeat this four-beat phrase and clap along with the beats. Finish the lesson by singing Roots, Stems, Leaves and checking in on the pea plants they planted during the last lesson.


If you do this activity, tell us about it in the comments! We would love to hear what you and your students think.




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