Unit 2: Cajun Music with Megan, Drew, and Kelli – Little World Fais Do-Do Painting
In this project, your students will each paint a picture of a fais do-do, or a big party, at which Cajun songs are performed and people dance the two-step. Students will have opportunity to visually express their knowledge of meter and understanding of strong and weak beats.
Vocabulary from the Musical Word Wall: fais do-do, two-step, strong, weak, meter, Cajun
- Materials You Will Need:
- 11 x 17 heavy weight paper (1 sheet per student)
- crayons or (preferably) oil pastels
- water color paints
- cups of water for washing brushes
- Musical Explorers CD or online audio
This project can be completed in three 35-minute sessions; minimal prep time required.
Step 1 (prep): Draw a centered rectangle on each sheet of 11×17 paper, leaving a 1.5 inch border around the edge.
Step 1: CLASS CONVERSATION
Play “Two-Step Des Yeux Bleus” and ask students to tap along with the steady beat of the song.
- When we listen to “Two-Step Des Yeux Bleus,” we hear that the meter in the song is made up of two beats, STRONG-weak, STRONG-weak, STRONG-weak. Who remembers what this is called? (Duple Meter)
- What are some things that come in a group of two? (twins, gloves, socks, shoes, wings etc.)
- We are going to make a border, sort of like a picture frame and fill it up with drawings of things that come in sets of twos.
Step 2: Pass out the 11 x 17 papers, pencils and crayons or pastels. Give students time to draw things that come in sets of two, filling up the border on their paper. Once they draw them with pencil, they can color them or outline them with crayon or pastel.
Step 1: CLASS CONVERSATION
Discuss the fais do-do.
- Does anyone remember where songs like “Two-Step Des Yeux Bleus” are traditionally played? (a fais do-do) What happens at that kind of event? (i.e. a party, live Cajun music, dancing)
Discuss the kind of dancing that might happen at the fais do-do, focusing on the two-step.
- A two step is a dance with a partner in duple meter.
- Today we are going to draw a picture of a little world (T’Monde) were the people are having a fais do-do. We’re going to draw it inside of our picture frame. What kinds of things should we include so that people know it’s a picture of a fais do-do? (i.e. people dancing in pairs, a band playing music with accordions, fiddles, and triangles, etc.)
Step 2: Pass out the students’ papers, as well as pencils and pastels. Support each student in drawing their own composition, including dancers and musicians.
Step 1: CLASS CONVERSATION:
- Today we are going to add paint to our fais do-do pictures! At a fais do-do, the people who like to play music get to play and the people who like to dance, get to dance. Everybody has a really good time. What do you like doing? Do you notice that everyone has a good time when they have a chance to do what they like and are good at? All the parts are important, and they make the world a good place to be… and our class a fun place to learn. Who here likes to paint?
Step 2: Hand out the fais do-do drawings, watercolors, brushes and water cups. Each student can add paint as they see fit to complete their picture. Remind students that oil pastels and crayons act as a resist, so anything that they drew in crayon or pastel will still be seen when they add paint to their pictures. This completes the Little World Painting project!