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Mr. Mascot's Magical Musical Tour


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Subjects

  • Arts and Humanities
  • Architecture
  • Art History
  • Dance and Music
  • Ed Technology
  • Social Studies
  • Geography

Grades

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

A class mascot leaves behind clues to its location as it travels the world. Where is the mascot this month? Week?

Objectives

Students
  • learn about a variety of places.
  • develop an appreciation for art, music, and other elements of world culture.
  • use technology to help them track down the whereabouts of the mascot (optional).

Keywords

music, world music, art, architecture, geography, mascot, clues, mystery

Materials Needed

These materials relate to the activity described below. But this activity can be adapted in many ways that might preclude a need for some of these materials:
  • a "Wanted Poster" depicting the mascot and a picture of it in its "new" surroundings
  • an e-mail from the mascot with clues to its location.
  • samples of art, music, and architecture from the places the mascot visits
  • CD player
  • projector attached to your computer

The Lesson

This activity can be used all year long in the classroom. In the days prior to introducing the lesson, you might display a class mascot in a prominent location in the room. (I used a maraca that I hung from the top of the blackboard. You might use a stuffed animal, a doll, or anything else that will spark student interest.)

Tell students that the mascot is a world traveler and is known to disappear from time to time -- so students must watch closely to discover when the mascot leaves for a trip!

Assemble pictures of different geographic locations to which you want to expose your students. Find famous art, interesting architecture, and music that represent that location.

For instance, for our mascot's first trip abroad -- to Italy -- I tracked down pictures of Venice, Rome, and Florence. I printed pictures of famous paintings and other Italian art that I found on the Web. I recorded music by Vivaldi, Puccini, and Morricone.
Send yourself an email from the mascot and save it. In the e-mail include clues to the mascot's location. If possible, you might even take a digital picture of the mascot and use Photoshop to superimpose it in the photo to make the trip "real."

Then create clues to the identity of the location. For example, for Italy I wrote these clues:

  • A city in this country has streets made of water. People travel from place to place via canal.
  • Restaurants stay open very late, so I can eat pasta at midnight.
  • People can be overheard saying "Bonjourno," "Ciao," and "Gratzie.")

Do You Know
Mrs. Waffenschmidt?

Mrs. Waffenschmidt is Education World's intrepid explorer. At each stop in her travels she provides clues to her location. You might adapt these clues to work with this "Mr. Mascot" lesson idea. See Where in the World Is Mrs. Waffenschmidt?.

If the United States or Canada is the focus of your curriculum, Mr. Mascot might travel from state to state. You might use the clues provided in our Mystery State series. See if students can identify the state to which the mascot has traveled.


When you are ready to share the email from your mascot, remove the mascot and hide it in a secure location. Hang up a "Wanted" poster in its place. The students will immediately recognize that the mascot is missing and eagerly read the wanted poster.

You might allow students to work on their own or in teams. They should write down several guesses of the mascot's location and discuss the possibilities. Once the location is correctly guessed, display your collected items of interest from that location. If you have a projector attached to a computer, share additional art, famous buildings, pictures of cities, pictures of famous composers, and other interesting information about the location.

Play samples of music that originated or is identified with the region. Discuss the stylistic elements that are indicative of the region.

Assessment

Have students create a "travel journal" and write their "memories" of each location to which the mascot traveled.

Submitted By

Melanie E. Shaw, Vogelweh Elementary School in Kaiserslautern, Rhineland Pfalz (Germany)

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Copyright © 2006 Education World

05/25/2006