"Barbara Allen": The Evolution of Folk Songs

Students will listen to several performances of the ballad “Barbara Allen” and compare the transcripts, which they will analyze for insights into the ballad as a part of oral tradition. 

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.5.4
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 5 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.5.3
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.5.4
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.7
Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.1
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.5
Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.6
Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.2
Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.2
Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.7
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.8
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and...
GLE 0501.1.2
Demonstrate knowledge of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, and usage of words and phrases.
GLE 0501.8.1
Use previously learned comprehension strategies before, during, and after reading.
GLE 0501.8.2
Experience various literary genres, including fiction and nonfiction, poetry, drama, chapter books, biography/autobiography, short stories, folk tales, myths,...
GLE 0501.8.3
Understand the basic characteristics of the genres (e.g., narratives, prose, poetry, drama) studied.
GLE 0601.2.1
Demonstrate critical listening skills essential for comprehension, evaluation, problem solving, and task completion.
GLE 0601.2.2
Begin to differentiate between summarizing and paraphrasing.
GLE 0601.2.6
Understand strategies for expressing ideas clearly and effectively in a variety of oral contexts.
GLE 0601.2.8
Participate in work teams and group discussions.
GLE 0601.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with an introduction, developing paragraphs, conclusion, and appropriate transitions.
GLE 0601.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
GLE 0601.7.1
Analyze media for their ability to inform, persuade, and entertain.
GLE 0601.7.2
Examine the relationship between the visual (e.g., media images, painting, film, graphic arts) and the verbal in media.
SPI 0401.1.13
Recognize and use grade appropriate vocabulary within context.
SPI 0401.3.8
Select appropriate time-order or transitional words to enhance the flow of a writing sample.
SPI 0501.1.12
Recognize root words, prefixes, and syllabication as aids in determining meaning within context.
SPI 0501.1.15
Recognize and use grade appropriate vocabulary within context.
SPI 0501.1.16
Determine the correct meaning/usage of multiple meaning words within context.
SPI 0501.3.10
Select appropriate time-order or transitional words/phrases to enhance the flow of a writing sample.
SPI 0501.5.1
Locate information to support opinions, predictions, and conclusions.
SPI 0501.5.6
Make inferences and draw appropriate conclusions from text.
SPI 0501.7.2
Determine the main idea in a visual image.
SPI 0501.8.5
Recognize that a story is told from first person point of view.
SPI 0601.2.4
Select the most appropriate behaviors for participating productively in a team (e.g., contribute appropriate and useful information and ideas, understand the...
SPI 0601.2.5
Identify the functions and responsibilities of individual roles within an organized group (i.e., reporter, recorder, information gatherer, leader, timekeeper).
SPI 0601.3.1
Identify the purpose for writing (i.e., to inform, to describe, to explain, to persuade).
SPI 0601.3.5
Select illustrations, descriptions, and/or facts to support key ideas.
SPI 0601.3.9
Select an appropriate concluding sentence for a well-developed paragraph.
SPI 0601.4.3
Determine the most appropriate research source for a given research topic.
TSS.ELA.4.SL.CC.2
Paraphrase portions of a text presented in diverse media such as visual, quantitative, and oral formats.
TSS.ELA.4.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information.
TSS.ELA.5.FL.F.5
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
TSS.ELA.5.FL.PWR.3
Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills when decoding isolated words and in connected text.
TSS.ELA.5.FL.VA.7a
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 5 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of...
TSS.ELA.5.FL.VA.7b
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
TSS.ELA.5.FL.VA.7c
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal contrast, addition, and...
TSS.ELA.5.RI.CS.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area, including figurative, connotative, and...
TSS.ELA.5.RI.CS.5
Compare and contrast the overall structure of events, ideas, and concepts of information in two or more texts.
TSS.ELA.5.RI.KID.1
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
TSS.ELA.5.RI.KID.2
Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
TSS.ELA.5.RL.CS.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language with emphasis on similes and metaphors; analyze the...
TSS.ELA.5.RL.CS.5
Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fit together to provide the overall structure of particular texts.
TSS.ELA.5.RL.KID.1
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
TSS.ELA.5.RL.KID.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
TSS.ELA.5.SL.CC.2
Summarize a text presented in diverse media such as visual, quantitative, and oral formats.
TSS.ELA.6.RI.IKI.7
Integrate information presented in different media or formats, such as in tables, images, diagrams, and words to develop a coherent understanding of a...
TSS.ELA.6.RL.IKI.7
Compare and contrast the written version of a story, drama, or poem to the experience of listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live production of a text.
TSS.ELA.6.SL.CC.1
Prepare for collaborative discussions on 6th grade level topics and texts; engage effectively with varied partners, building on others' ideas and...
TSS.ELA.6.W.RBPK.7
Conduct research to answer a question, drawing on multiple sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
TSS.ELA.6.W.RBPK.8
Integrate relevant and credible information from print and digital sources; quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding...
TSS.ELA.6.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of...
TSS.ELA.7.RL.CS.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word...
TSS.ELA.7.RL.IKI.7
Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multi-media version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to...
TSS.ELA.7.RL.KID.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

The learner will

  • Understand the characteristics of the folk song and the ballad
  • Understand that ballads were passed down within a culture as part of an oral tradition (memorization, etc), and how a song can change and evolve during that process
  • Understand that folk songs and ballads were the popular music/entertainment of their time
Essential and guiding questions: 

How does a folk song evolve over time?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Extension suggestions: 

Another characteristic of ballads is that they were often based on real events, or believed to have been based on real events, even once it was no longer remembered when or where the event happened. Have each group pick a current or recent event and write a short ballad (three or four stanzas) about it. If possible, have each group also pick a tune and sing their ballad for the class. 

Helpful Hints

MATERIALS:

  • Lyrics Comparison Handout
  • Barbara Allen Worksheet