View my profile on Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth - for new documents, backwards designed lessons, and more!


Free Backwards Design Units


Beat and Rhythm Units-These 6-day units were created for the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.

K Beat Unit Map

1 BeatandRhythm Unit Map

2RhythmandMeter Unit Map

3RhythmandMeter Unit Map

4RhythmandMeter Unit Map

5RhythmandMeter Unit Map

Unit MapBlank– Another Blank Template for designing Units of Study in a Backwards design fashion.

UbDTemplate– Here is a template I use for my Backwards Designed Units. It was designed by myself and my esteemed colleague, Alma Treviso, for use in district assessment planning this summer.

Understanding_By_Design_Listening-VoiceTypes_Unit_K– Kindergarten lesson exploring the four voice types.

Understanding_By_Design_Musical_Opposites_SameandDifferent_K1– A lesson on same/different for grades K-1.

Understanding_By_Design_SteadyBeat_Unit_K– Steady beat lesson for kindergarten.

Understanding_By_Design_Rhythm_Building_Blocks_Unit_2– Basic Building Blocks of Rhythm unit for 2nd grade inspired by Keetman’s “Elementaria” and B. Grenoble’s rhythmic building blocks.

Understanding_By_Design_QA_Unit_5– a Unit on Question and Answer techniques for improvisation  for grades 4/5.

Understanding_By_Design_HOWTOBLUES_5– an extensive blues unit inspired by a Core Knowledge lesson I found on the internet. Resources referenced in document.

Understanding_By_Design_Geometric_Composition_Project_6– a lesson combining the principles of geometry, meter, composition, and music technology for 6th grade.

Worksheets and Study Guides

SQUILT Form– This is the graphic organizer I created for 3-6 grades to experience daily listening lessons. The S.Q.U.I.L.T. activity is described in more detail in the archives of

SQUILT#2– A slightly modified version of the above form scaffolded for ELL’s.

Music Man Worksheet -a study guide to go along with the popular movie musical. I use in 5th grade.

musical-report– a generic report worksheet for researching a musical

Science and Sound Web Activity – This document uses the website to explore the ways that sound is created through different activities. A great site for working in a lab situation, and integrated with science.

Student Interview Worksheet– This is a worksheet designed for students to interview each other and introduce their partner to the class.

Research Papers– This Word .doc has 2 research worksheets! One for researching composers and the other for researching Broadway Musicals. I use these when doing podcasts and iMovie projects with my older kids.

Assessments, Rubrics and Templates


5th Grade- Rhythm Post-Assessment -an assessment of notating and performing intermediate rhythm patterns.

symphony-evaluation – a quick evaluation of a Symphony performance.

musicgradingtemplate – sample spreadsheet for grading based on our district standards and performance indicators. Could be modified to include up to 4 separate standards with 3 “bodies of evidence” each.

guitarrubric – a simple rubric for a guitar performance assessment

concert_evaluation – a generic concert evaluation form for assessment after a performance

16thnotesrubric – a rubric for assessing the identification and performance of 16th notes and patterns

5itemspreadsheet – a spreadsheet for recording 5 separate assessment items

10itemspreadsheet – a spreadsheet for recording 10 separate assessment items

14itemspreadsheet – a spreadsheet for recording 14 separate assessment items

guitarassessment – a written pre- and post-assessment of guitar skills such as I-IV-V chords and strumming patterns

elements-assessment – a written pre- and post- assessment of the elements of music

4assessment – a 4th grade pre- and post-assessment of singing posture and technique

2assessmentofrhythm – a 2nd grade pre- and post- assessment of basic rhythms

gradelevelthemes– thematic units I have considered organized by grade level

scope-and-sequence – a sample scope and sequence I have used in past years

Powerpoints I created


CMEA2011– .pptx Presentation for CMEA 2011 “Infusing Technology within the Orff Process” and Website Links (.docx file attachment to CMEA presentation)

Knuffle Bunny a quick powerpoint of the song adaptation of the book “Knuffle Bunny” (Sung to the tune of John the Rabbit).

beatandrhythm – a PPT to teach the basics of beat and rhythm aimed at primary students. October themed, but could be adapted to any season.

gospel-presentation – a PPT presentation of gospel music history

holidaysingalong – The 2008 Harrington 4th annual holiday sing-along program .PPT (~5MB)

HolidaySingAlong– An updated, extended 2011 version of the Harrington 7th annual holiday sing-along .PPTX with new jokes, videos, and songs! (62MB)

Miscellaneous  Teaching Tools

PRINTABLE WORD WALL WORDS!– This doc has settings for the words to be printed on 3″ x 12″ cardstock or store-bought sentence strips. It includes a bonus “When you enter this classroom…” poem to display outside your door!

circle-seating (.pdf) Circle Seating Chart (.docx) I created this with Word to coordinate with my new Noteworthy Music Rug (which I love!!) There are spaces for 24 students on the outer ring and I put extra students in the middle on the staff lines (I have no more than 27 in a class this year since we are under-enrolled- good for class size, bad for budgets…but that’s another blog post!) The center darkened ring is for recording assessment data in a “fishbowl” style. Before photocopying each chart, I used a pencil to draw the music symbols from the rug on each square so they would lightly show up underneath each student’s name.

Movement Words A word wall list for movement

The Music Room Pledge– a cute compact that I have my kids recite every year to review our rules.

recorder-letter – letter to parent regarding options for purchasing recorders for 3rd grade

webbibliography– a bilbliography of web resources for the music educator

behaviorchart – an individual behavior modification chart with areas to chart 3 behaviors for 4 consecutive days. Initial or hole punch the “stars” to show progress.

poetryandmusicproject2 – This is an enhanced podcast of a lecture I did on the 5th grade Poetry and Music Project. I imported my Keynote presentation into GarageBand and then recorded the audio and exported into iTunes for the finished product. I used this for students who were absent and plan to use it to replace my lecture next year and have more rehearsal time.


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