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Speaking of News

Teaching News is Elementary


Program Content for October 9, 2015

Each week, this lesson will share some classroom activity ideas that use the newspaper or other NIE resources.  You are encouraged to modify this lesson to fit the needs of your students.  For example, some classrooms may be able to use this as a worksheet and others might need to ask and answer the questions in a class discussion. 

Please be sure to preview all NIE content before using it in your classroom to ensure it is appropriate for all of your students.

Materials you will need for this lesson: The Seattle Times e-Edition, Internet/library for research.

Article: New SSO violinist no stranger to local audiences


Page: NW Tuesday B3

Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Pre- Reading Discussion Questions: 


Look at the title and the photograph. Have you ever heard someone play the violin? Would you like to hear the Seattle Symphony perform? Why or why not? What type of music do you enjoy?




Read the following quotes and determine the meaning of the word based on how it’s used in the sentence:


Reached by phone a couple of days after the Seattle Symphony announced she won a coveted second-violin position with the orchestra, Brittany Boulding says she’d actually known the good news for two weeks.


(wanted very much)


“But you could swear from her jubilant voice and excited laughter she just got the call from SSO music director Ludovic Morlot.”


(feeling or expressing great joy : very happy)


 Behind the elation, Boulding displays a forceful will to make good music, cross-referencing her work in ensembles around the region.


(elation: happiness and excitement)


(cross-referencing: noting something in another source such as a book)


Journal Writing Prompts: 


“In January 2012, Boulding was among the NWS musicians who traveled to Cuba and played concerts with some of that nation’s instrumentalists. ‘It was an amazing experience,’ she says. ‘Very eye-opening. The culture was so warm and exuberant, joyful and accepting. I was blown away by how much love everybody has for music, to be so immersed in music and culture despite so much poverty.’”


What do you know about Cuba? Where is it located? What do you think Cuban music is like? What do you think it means to be “immersed in music and culture despite so much poverty”? What part of the world would you like to visit and why? How do you think that country’s culture is different from your own?


Discussion Questions:


Review the excerpt and discuss the following questions:


“What, exactly, is the responsibility of a second violin?


“Blending in well with the rest of your section, listening to the whole orchestra and finding that spot where you fit in just right,” Boulding says. “You’re in a supporting role while holding your own with the orchestra.”


What does it mean to be a “second” violin? What do you think a “first” violin does? Why is a second violin just as important as a first violin? What other types of families, groups or teams rely on different roles to help each other? Choose an example from your own life, explaining the value of responsibility and cooperation within a group.


Small group discussion and activity: 


“’It gives me a unique perspective on all the various aspects that go into a performance. I’ve had many opportunities to see all the different aspects of musicmaking, and that has strengthened my own playing.’”


Choose a type of performance such as dance or music. In the selected performance what roles work together? How is each person dependent on the other? How does each role help the other? How would the performance be different if one performer or musician were absent?


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Copyright © 2015 The Seattle Times Company
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