Whether it pulls at our heartstrings, makes us tap our toes, or causes us to burst out in song, music can strike all the right emotional chords. Classcraft’s Quest of the Month for August will have students looking at everything that makes a song great — from the music to the lyrics to the band, and all that jazz.
Each month at Classcraft, we choose one awesome quest to promote. Our pick for August is “Quest of the Bard,” a music and English Language Arts lesson plan created by Adam Johnson. Created for elementary, middle, or high school, this lyrical lesson will have students singing for their supper — or at least a few coins — by crafting the best song of all time at the local inn. They don’t have to start from scratch, but they will have to dig deep to understand what makes a song compelling.
Using music and lyrics of their choice, students will march to the beat of their own drum as they analyze their choice, explore figurative language, and compare and contrast their songs with their classmates. Import this quest to start using it with your class.
Quests are personalized, self-paced, choose-your-own-adventure lessons for students. If you use Classcraft, you can submit quests you’ve created to be the next Quest of the Month on our submission page. Our goal is to spotlight the amazing educators who inspire us and share creative, teacher-made content with our global community of forward-thinking educators.
Now, let’s get to know Adam!
What are your teaching stats?
Adam Johnson: This will be my fourth year teaching. My grade and content have changed every year, but I currently teach grade 6 history at Quentin Elementary School in Avondale, Arizona.
What inspires you?
Johnson: I am passionate about music! It’s a huge part of my life — both ups and downs. Dancing is how I express myself, and music lends a huge part of that.
What made you decide to use Classcraft?
Johnson: One of my co-workers started using it on a whim, and his nonstop enthusiasm for it pushed me into trying it myself. I love the gaming aspect of it, and it allows me to be creative when making assignments for students.
Your favorite things about Classcraft are …
Johnson: The quests and random events. Both of them encourage creativity, and I get to put my writing skills to use in creating stories and engaging encounters for my students.
Why do you love the quest you created?
Johnson: The quest I created is all about music — it helps a teacher learn about their student in a new light, one they may not have considered before. It touches on many English standards and helps to promote students’ individuality.
What did your students think of your quest? How did they react?
Johnson: My students loved the quest. Part of it involved creating a playlist that featured all their chosen songs, and they were ecstatic when their song came on. They were excited when talking to their peers about their song choice and were using academic language to describe their song in detail. It was a great time in the classroom.
How do you spend your summer breaks?
Johnson: I spend my summer breaks at the gym, teaching group fitness. I teach a variety of classes, but dance classes are definitely my favorite.
What does a “good day” at school look like?
Johnson: A good day is made by the class itself. A good day is when students can cross that gap of frustration and reach understanding; when students are engaged in their learning and excited to continue; when students encourage other students after a mistake; when we’re learning for the sake of learning, rather than to get somewhere.
If you could take your students on a field trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Johnson: Since I’ve taught ancient world history the past year, I’d love to take my students to Athens. Having been there myself, I know just how impressive those massive temples are. My students were absorbed in Greek history and mythology, and they would have loved to see it in person.
Which Hogwarts house would you be sorted into?
Johnson: Definitely Ravenclaw. I have a lot of excess courage in some areas, but I’m always more interested in learning. If I haven’t learned something new today, it wasn’t a successful day.