Lesson 2: Exploring “Just a Dream”

Aim: How can we explore different interpretations of “Just a Dream”
through movement?
Summary: Students create movements to the verse of “Just a Dream” to express
different interpretations of the song.
Materials: Musical Explorers CD or online audio, chart paper, marker
Standards: GA: MK-2GM.1, MK-2GM.2, MK-2GM.4, MK-2GM.6, MK-2GM.7, MK-2GM.8, MK-2GM.9, MK-2GM.10
SC: MGK-2.1, MGK-2.4, MGK-2.5, MGK-2.6
Vocabulary: verse, chorus, interpretation


Learn About Verse and Chorus in “Just a Dream”

  • Listen to “Just a Dream,” Track 20
  • Read the lyrics to your class.
  • Discuss the form of the song with your students.
    • The verses tell the story of the song. There are three verses in “Just a Dream.”
    • The chorus is repeated after each verse; it gives you the main idea of the song. The chorus in “Just a Dream” changes a little bit each time at the end, but the first part remains the same.  
  • Listen to “Just a Dream” again. Ask students to identify which parts of the song are verses and which parts are the chorus.

Just a Dream

It was a dream,
a dream I had on my mind
It was a dream,
a dream I had on my mind
You know when I woke up this morning
Not a thing could I find

Verse I:
I dreamed I went up to heaven
And had a real good time
I dreamed I was satisfied
And nothing to worry my mind
But it was just a dream
A dream I had on my mind
When I woke up this morning
Not an angel could I find

Verse II:
I dreamed I went to the White House
Sat in the President’s chair
I dreamed he shook my hand, and said
“Eric, I’m glad you’re here”
But it was a dream
A dream I had on my mind
When I woke up this morning
Not a chair could I find

Verse III:
I dreamed I was a millionaire,
And won the lottery too
I dreamed I had so much money,
I didn’t know what to do
But that was just a dream, Lord,
What a dream I had on my mind,
Now when I woke up, baby,
Not a penny there could I find


Explore “Just a Dream” Through Movement

  • When performing artists such as musicians and dancers perform a piece of music or a dance, they bring their own ideas or story to the way that they perform the piece. This is also known as interpretation. Two singers can perform the exact same song but in very different ways.
  • This song is another blues song like “Little Red Rooster.” We can all interpret the feeling of a song in different ways. 
    • Interpretation is a way that each person can make a song that everyone might know all their own, just like we saw here. 
    • How would you interpret this blues song? When you hear the words “dream,” “heaven,” and “lovely,”  what do you think of? How would you say these words?
  • Read the verses aloud to students. As a class, create movements to go with each verse (e.g., wiggling your hands next to your face like for “dream,” or reaching up to the sky for “heaven”).
  • Divide the class into groups of 4-5 students around the classroom.
  • Ask each group to create interpretive movement to the first verse.
  • Have each group perform its interpretation to the class.
    • What did we discover when we watched each other’s dances? Were there similarities? What parts? What was different? Was the message of the song still the same or was it different?
  • Ask each group to explain its unique interpretation to the rest of the class.


Creative Extension: What if Your Dream Came True?

Using SG20, ask students to draw a picture of one of their favorite dreams, one they wish would come true. Then ask them to draw a picture of how the dream makes them feel.


Musical Word Wall

Add the words verse, chorus, and interpretation to the Musical Word Wall.


PDF Downloads

SG20 ↓ Download File


Musical Explorers Audio Tracks