Beethoven, Haydn, or Mozart

Class: Grade 8                                                 Date: TBD      

Topic: Social Issues                                         Subject: Music

Lesson Plan50 Minutes
Content: Students work collaboratively hotseating each other in character as either Beethoven, Haydn, or Mozart (one at a time). Students participate in both roles as hotseater and being hotseated. In the outer circle team, the group addresses Beethoven, Haydn, or Mozart with questions or problems and Beethoven, Haydn, or Mozart, in that character, take a few moments to confer with their team before responding.
Outcomes and Indicators:
CR8.3 Investigate and identify how arts expressions can reflect diverse worldviews Discuss and describe the meaning of worldview. Describe how diverse worldviews may be represented in the arts
Assessment: At the end of class take time to discuss as a group what went well and what answers they would change now that they have had time to think about it. The students may even choose a “rewind” (physically or metaphorically) to redo things. Teacher observes closely to assist students that may be too reserved to vocalize their thoughts- teacher may break students into smaller groups instead of having one large group in order to get all students participation.
Prerequisite Learning: Information regarding Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart’s personal and professional lives (as learned from the previous 3 music lessons).
Lesson Preparation Equipment/Materials Reader’s Theatre from lesson #1, soliloquy from lesson #2, drama play from lesson #3 (to review with students if necessary) Advanced Preparation None
Set: (5 min) What does “worldview” mean? (A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.) Discuss different worldviews and remind students we have just studied 3 different music composers (Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart) who all have different worldviews even though they worked in the same industry.

Development: (35 in) Form 2 circles. Those on the inside are in the hotseat and can confer about their response as if they were one person. Students in the outer circle play other roles, conversing, then posing questions and problems to those in the inner circle. Both inner and outer students speak one at a time, after conferring with others in their group about what their questions and responses will be. Hotseat characters are the composers we’ve been studying about: Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart. Hotseat each composer one at a time. The outer and inner circles switch so all students have the opportunity to hotseat and to be hotseated.

Closure: (10 min) Discussion: What are some different responses you would have given in this activity now that you’ve had time to think about it? How are diverse worldviews represented in the arts?
Classroom Management Strategies          
Number students 1-2 to create 2 groups.   Students may be confused and not remember what each composer’s life looked like; possibly review. When hot seating: allow for way more time. Some students take it and some do not; still try again.


  1. The outer circle can be a former or future composer of himself, not necessarily tied to the Era they lived.
  2. A “devil” character on the inner circle can attempt to negatively influence Beethoven, Haydn, or Mozart’s character’s responses. Or an angel can do the opposite.

Adaptive Dimension:

  1. The hotseat activity can be broken into smaller groups of 4-5 students. This does not require the students to stand in a circle around each other; they can simply have the Beethoven, Haydn, or Mozart character take a seat in front of the smaller group and the remaining 3-4 students pose questions/ problems.

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