Duke Ellington Teacher Resources

Find Duke Ellington lesson plans and worksheets
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Children's Literature Across the Curriculum Ideas-Duke Ellington

For Teachers 2nd - 6th
Learners read Duke Ellington by Andrea Davis Pinkney. They complete a variety of cross-curricular activities surrounding the life of the 20th century composer. Included are reading, art, math, science, writing, social studies, and...
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Duke Ellington- Mini Biography

For Teachers 8th - 12th
Take a ride on the A train and visit Harlem venues like the Cotton Club, all in a way-too-brief mini biography of Duke Ellington
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Using Prior Knowledge from Personal Experiences-Understanding Duke Ellington

For Teachers 4th - 6th
Students research the life of Duke Ellington.  In this music history lesson, students draw comparisons between the early life experiences of Duke Ellington and themselves.  Students work in small groups to compare Ellington's resistance...
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Duke Ellington and the Rise of Jazz in New York

For Teachers 8th - 12th
Students consider how Duke Ellington impacted the rise of jazz music. In this jazz music lesson, students listen to a lecture regarding the life and work of Ellington. Students also watch a video regarding Ellington and discuss music of...
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Our Story: Duke Ellington and Jazz

For Students K - 4th
Get parents or guardians into the swing of things with a jazzy homework assignment. A detailed six-page guide provides before, during, and after reading suggestions for Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra, Andrea Davis...
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Similes Activity using Jazz (featuring Duke Ellington)

For Students 4th
Language learners get into the swing of things with a jazzy lesson about similes. They read an article about Duke Ellington, listen to samples of his music, and then try their hand at crafting similes to describe his improvisational and...
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Famous African Americans: Duke Ellington

For Students 3rd Standards
Duke Ellington was one of the most prominent and exciting jazz musicians of the 20th century. After reading a brief passage on the famous composer, readers answer 10 reading response questions.
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Every Day Edit - Duke Ellington

For Students 3rd - 8th
For this everyday editing worksheet, students correct grammatical mistakes in a short paragraph about Duke Ellington. The errors range from capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and grammar.
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The Jazz Age Featuring Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Others

For Teachers 5th
Fifth graders view pictures of jazz age performers.  In this jazz history lesson plan, 5th graders discuss the difference between primary and secondary sources, view a PowerPoint presentation of great jazz musicians and discuss what they...
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Learning through The Duke

For Teachers 2nd - 4th
Students study Duke Ellington's contributions to the field of jazz. They write poetry using language that was popular in the 1920's. They listen to a piece of Duke Ellington jazz and respond with at painting.
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Music To My Ears: The District of Columbia Quarter

For Teachers 2nd - 5th
Students practice identifying different genres of music by creating posters.  In this music appreciation lesson plan, students research Duke Ellington and complete worksheets based on his style of music, Jazz.  Students collaborate in...
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Duking It Out

For Teachers 6th - 12th
Students read and discuss 'Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra: Mixing Treasures by Duke Ellington and Edvard Grieg,' exploring how jazz transformed European music and the influence jazz has had on modern music. They write musical reviews.
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Learning Through the Duke

For Teachers 2nd - 8th
Students examine the contributions of Duke Ellington to the field of jazz. They create an original poem using popular vocabulary from the 1920s, listen to the book, "Duke Ellington," and paint a picture while listening to music by Duke...
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Exploring the 1920s

For Teachers 4th - 7th
Students explore American artists from the 1920s.  In this U.S. history and fine arts lesson, students visit several stations to view documents, listen to music, observe artwork, and answer written questions about  Duke Ellington, Louis...
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Jazz in America

For Teachers 11th
Eleventh graders explore Jazz in America. They examine greats in Jazz, such as Duke Ellington. They are also to discuss the cultural implications of the music itself.
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Duke Ellington

For Teachers 5th - 8th
Students discover a variety of Duke Ellington compositions and the elements that make his sound unique. In this jazz lesson plan, students participate in a Duke Ellington Matching Game and an activity based on his music.
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Duke Ellington: Great American Musician and Composer

For Teachers 3rd - 6th
Students delve into the life and music of Duke Ellington as a major American musician and composer. The elements that made the sound of his orchestra unique and the talents of his band members are explored in this instructional activity.
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Character Motivation-Duke

For Teachers 1st - 6th
Students explore a character's motivation in a text.  In this characterization lesson, students view a video about Duke Ellington. Students discuss motivations for Duke Ellington and write sentences explaining Ellington's changes.
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Music Vocabulary

For Teachers 6th - 10th
Class members explore the concepts of texture in music and musical arrangements by examining Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo" and "Harlem Airshaft."
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Jazz Musicians

For Students 6th - 12th
Ten informative videos make up a series hosted by Wynton Marsalis designed to share the musical triumphs of jazz musicians Scott Joplin, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and more! 
1 In 1 Collection
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Great Gatsby's Jazz

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
As Nick wanders the grounds of Gatsby's mansion, he observes the behaviors of the rowdy guests and listens to the music pouring over the lawn. Bring the music of the jazz age into the classroom with Louis Armstrong's "West End Blues,"...
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Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, Dance of the Floreadores, Waltz of the Flowers in the Meter of Duke

For Teachers 6th - 8th
Middle schoolers contrast the meter and style of two different versions of the musical piece, "Waltz of the Flowers." Duke Ellington's meter in the "Dance of the Floreadores" is compared to Tchaikovsky's version in the "Nutcracker."
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African American Community and Culture

For Teachers 4th
Fourth graders explore the rise of jazz music. For this Duke Ellington lesson, 4th graders watch video segments regarding Ellington's life and showcasing a performance of Ellington and his band. Students discuss the rhythm of jazz as...
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The United States in the 1920s: The New Negro Movement and the Harlem Renaissance

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Music, writing, and activism all tell the story of history! The resource uses these elements and more in a presentation to discuss the Jazz Age and Harlem Renaissance. Your class views biographies, discusses important events, and...

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