October 2nd, 2002
Willie Nelson: All Together Now!
Lesson Overview


Willie Nelson is an American icon. He has recorded 250 albums, written 2,500 songs, and for half a century played countless concerts across America and around the world. He’s been instrumental in shaping both country and pop music, yet his appeal crosses all social and economic lines. Emmylou Harris once said, “If America could sing with one voice, it would be Willie’s.” Using Willie Nelson’s words, students in Grades 3 to 5 can recite his words in one voice, analyze his lyrics, and learn about this important person in America’s musical history. Students will achieve this by using Choral Reading and Guided Reading strategies.

Grade Levels

Grades 3 to 5

Time Allotment

2 class periods or one long block period

Subject Matter

Language Arts, Poetry


Students will be able to:

  • Work on honing their decoding and fluency in reading out loud
  • Understand rhythm, meter, patterns, and rhymes of musical lyrics
  • Work cooperatively in small groups
  • Use reading skills and strategies for comprehension


  • Multiple copies of the song lyrics for each group of 6 to 8 students
  • Pens or pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Magic Markers
  • Large chart paper
  • Large chart paper with the lyrics to “On the Road Again” written out or lyrics on an overhead transparency
  • Large chart paper with the lyrics of all the songs that will be used written out or lyrics on an overhead transparency
  • If possible, a tape recorder and blank tape for each small group

Media Components

Computer Resources:

  • Modem: 56.6 Kbps or faster
  • Browser: Netscape Navigator 4.0 or above or Internet Explorer 4.0 or above. Macintosh computer: System 8.1 or above and at least 32 MB of RAM
  • Personal computer (Pentium II 350 MHz or Celeron 600 MHz) running Windows 95 or higher and at least 32 MB of RAM
  • Software: Any presentation software such as Power Point or Hyperstudio (optional)

Selected Web sites

You can bookmark these sites for student research:


Language Arts:

Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of literary texts

  • Uses reading skills and strategies to understand a variety of literary passages and texts (e.g., fairy tales, folktales, fiction, nonfiction, myths, poems, fables, fantasies, historical fiction, biographies, autobiographies, chapter books)
  • Understands the ways in which language is used in literary texts (e.g., personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia, simile, metaphor, imagery, hyperbole, beat, rhythm)

Uses the general skills and strategies of the reading process

  • Uses phonetic and structural analysis techniques, syntactic structure, and semantic context to decode unknown words (e.g., vowel patterns, complex word families, syllabication, root words, affixes)
  • Adjusts speed of reading to suit purpose and difficulty of the material
  • Understands the author’s purpose (e.g., to persuade, to inform)

Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes

  • Organizes ideas for oral presentations (e.g., uses an introduction and conclusion; uses notes or other memory aids; organizes ideas around major points, in sequence, or chronologically; uses traditional structures, such as cause and effect, similarity and difference, posing and answering a question; uses details, examples, and anecdotes to clarify information)
  • Understands the main ideas and supporting details in spoken texts (e.g., presentations by peers or quest speakers, a current affairs report on the radio)
  • Understands that language reflects different regions and cultures (e.g., sayings; expressions; usage; oral traditions and customs; historical, geographical, and societal influences on language)


Sings, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music

  • Sings expressively, with appropriate dynamics, phrasing, and interpretation
  • Knows songs representing genres (e.g., march, work song, lullaby, Dixieland) and styles (e.g., of various composers, nations) from diverse cultures
  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Google-Gothic/Google-Gothic/307180726780 Katerine Rivlin

    Ok, i think i will save this for thenext time I’ll have to argue with Frank (friend of mine) about it! I wasn’t wrong :D


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