If you are looking for captivating books that seamlessly blend literature and music in your classroom, look no further! This e-x-p-a-n-d-i-n-g list of recommended books will provide musical connections information and valuable lesson plan ideas. Whether you’re seeking to expand your library or searching for fresh ideas to enrich your music curriculum, find great ways to integrate literature into your music curriculum.
Table of Contents
The Bookstore | A Quick Reference Guide for the Year
“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”
The Nutcracker & Ballet Books
MLK & Black History Month Favorites
- Martin’s Big Words is a classic. It shows Dr. King from baby to adult so great appeal to kids.
- Duke Ellington-ANYTHING by the Pinkney family is gold. Reading a biography followed by a music activity is meaningful.
- Trombone Shorty-a 21st-century artist and fantastic story
- Build a House-by musician Rhiannon Giddens fuses Black history and music.
Book Reviews With Music Connections
The Mitten by Jan Brett and More
This Ukrainian folk tale has been rewritten by many authors. The most obvious music connection I found is the addition of animals to the mitten which just screams CUMULATIVE form. This resource has a single song with cumulative form OR the form could be the skeleton of an entire program where each animal is a section of the concert.
“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” (paid links above)
Build A House by Rhiannon Giddens
Book review with LESSON PLANS, research links,
TPT companion resource below, “We Shall Not Be Moved.”
- Grades 4-7 (These grades were chosen because of the instrumental parts. The melody can easily be sung by K-3)
- The book ends with a line from the song, “And I will not be moved.”
- Activities to teach the I, IV, V7 harmonies using Orff parts and ukulele.
- Perform using only Orff or only ukulele, or a combination.
The Secret of the Plátano by Luz Maria Mack
Set in the Dominican Republic, this gorgeous book is about the love between abuela and her grandson, and the magic of dancing and nature.
The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson
“Fly Away” is a companion resource to “The Year We Learned to Fly.”
As an Amazon Affiliate, some links may be paid.
Change Sings by Amanda Gorman
“The Change Is You” and “Change the World With Kindness” are companion resources to “Change Sings” by Amanda Gorman.
The Girl Who Heard Music by Marni Fogelsen with Mahani Teave
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
The true story of award-winning pianist and environmental activist Mahani Teave and the beloved island she is helping to save.
A perfect read for K-5 about the power of music, environmentalism, and making a difference.
More about Mahani Teave on Wikipedia and an NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Part of the video is a tour of her music school created from trash.
Mahani would be an AMAZING Musician of the Week!
Ohana Means Family by Ilima Loomis
A great book about Hawaiian culture to use with multiple grade levels! K-2 can use movement and un-pitched percussion and grades 3-5 can use movement and barred instruments!
A song that would complement the learning in the book.
This old chant was set to music by Winona Beamer. The kahuli (tree snails) or pūpū kanioe (land shells) are the singing snails of legend. Winona Beamer was a champion of authentic and ancient Hawaiian culture, publishing many books, musical scores, as well as audio and video recordings on the subject.
In My Heart by Jo Witek
Sun Wishes by Patricia Storms
Tapestry is the perfect companion resource to “Sun Wishes” with its story of colors, weaving, layers, and in this case, a tapestry of sound!
Just Help by Sonia Sotomayor
Next books to be added:
- The Earth Gives More
- Holi Hai
Each new book addition will be announced in the Oodles Newsletter
If you have a book you’d like for me to include, please comment below.