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Design Topic: Ostinato Grade(s) 5 Designers Name Ms.

Gina DiPalermo
Source: Understanding by Design, Unit Design Planning Template (Wiggins/McTighe 2005)

Unit Title: Rhythmic Literacy and Composition

Established Goals:

Recognizing basic rhythms and their function as they are expressed in simple meter and common time.
Understand compositionally, characteristics that show how an ostinato is written and performed.
Gain a greater sense of rhythmic pulse and be able to perform with a steady beat among other group members.
The differences between a steady beat and an ostinato pattern.

Addressing National Standards: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

NJ CCCs Standard: 1.1 The Creative Process: All students will demonstrate an understanding of the elements and principles
that govern the creation of works of art in dance, music, theatre and visual art.

Addressing Standards: 1.1.5.B.1, 1.1.5.B.2

Understandings: Students will understand that

Rhythmic ostinato is an added technique in
music that serves to enhance larger
Similar to motifs and themes, ostinato are short
rhythm patterns except where motifs casually
return, ostinato continues repeatedly.
Rhythmic ostinato when used is the bottom
functioning layer that adds to the overall texture.
Techniques that were a prevalent feature of the
century are still functional in various music
genres including pop and folk music.

Essential Questions:

In what ways can we better understand music
through patterns? How can we create new
music using these patterns?
In what ways does rhythmic ostinato enhance a
musical performance?
How does creating a rhythmic ostinato inspire
musical decision-making?
In what ways does compositional decision-
making help us with future writing tasks?

Students will know:
What common time is and how many beats are
within each measure of this meter.
How rhythms are used to create an ostinato pattern.
How rhythmic ostinatos are used in combination with
other forms, like Rondo, or ABA.

Students will be able to:

Through aural analysis students will be able to
recognize ostinati in various genres of music with an
accuracy of 80%
Clap or play instruments within a steady beat.
Students will be able to compose simple rhythmic
ostinatos through classroom instruments, or body
percussion with an accuracy of 85%

Performance Tasks:

Compose an ostinato pattern using rhythm cards that contain
quarter, eighth, and sixteenth note patterns.

Groups will perform each of their ostinatos on classroom

Other Evidence:

Repetition of each members part in the ostinato
Peer assessment of each group

Guided questions/discussions about the characteristics of
ostinato and in what ways each group chose to perform their

Summary of Learning Activities:
Design Topic: Ostinato Grade(s) 5 Designers Name Ms. Gina DiPalermo
Source: Understanding by Design, Unit Design Planning Template (Wiggins/McTighe 2005)



Students explore various classroom instruments in a
class percussion circle.

Students watch a video called STOMP! Basketball
and Kitchen each scene containing performances of
repeated patterns with objects that are used in
everyday life.

Guided questions: What are some patterns we hear
in this music, and how are they being performed?

Students reflect on what they saw in each scene and
answer guided questions in an open discussion.
When students form as many characteristics, we
label what they saw with the actual term Ostinato
and give definition.

Students and teacher engage in a group ostinato
pattern. Where teacher or student volunteers to
begin with a pattern on their instrument, other
instruments slowly create a rhythm to compliment
the one already existing.


Teacher counts students in 3s and forms 3 large
groups. Students choose three mystery rhythm
cards from Ts rhythm card deck.

In their groups, students will compose an ostinato
and decide how these three rhythm cards will be
performed. In what order? Which instruments?

All groups perform followed by group discussion and
reflection of individual performances.

5-7 minutes

5-7 minutes

3 minutes

5 minutes

10 minutes (brief check in at 5 minutes)

8 minutes


Re-address assessment and guided questions

Discussion Questions:
What were some things you found challenging about creating a group ostinato?
What strategies did your group find helpful in creating a group ostinato?
How do you feel ostinato enhances a music performance?
How might we find other patterns in music?