Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us



Contribute to ReadWriteThink

ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.



Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



Did You Know?

Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

More more

HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

On a Musical Note: Exploring Reading Strategies by Creating a Soundtrack

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


On a Musical Note: Exploring Reading Strategies by Creating a Soundtrack

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Lisa Storm Fink

Lisa Storm Fink

Urbana, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



No matter where you teach, students are likely to listen to music. Their tastes may vary widely—pop, rap, country, classic, jazz, R & B. Regardless of their preferences, they each bring a rich knowledge of musical tunes and lyrics to the classroom. This lesson takes advantage of that interest by asking students to create a soundtrack for a novel that they have read. Students begin by analyzing how specific songs might fit with a familiar story. Students then create their own soundtracks for the movie version of a novel they have read. They select songs that match the text and fit specific events in the story. Finally, students share their projects with the class and assess their work using a rubric. Examples in this lesson focus on The Beast by Walter Dean Myers, but any piece of literature can be used as the basis of students' soundtracks.

back to top



CD/DVD Cover Creator: Using this online tool, student can design and print cd or dvd covers and insert booklets.

back to top



In "Film and Reading Strategies," Chapter Two from Reading in the Dark: Using Film as a Tool in the English Classroom, John Golden explains that "anytime we can get students fully involved in a text, we know we have done our job" (59). This lesson plan accomplishes that goal by encouraging students to match their knowledge of musical texts and film with the novels that they are reading. While such activities may at first seem nontraditional, Golden tells us students tap traditional reading strategies such as "predicting, responding, questioning, and visualizing" (59), all of which are important skills for students to develop and practice. Additionally, the project becomes one of multimodal exploration, as it asks students not only to compose words but to match words with sounds to make meaning.

This lesson was adapted from the "Soundtrack" activity explained in Reading in the Dark.

Further Reading

Golden, John. 2001. Reading in the Dark: Using Film as a Tool in the English Classroom. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

Read more about this resource

back to top