Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Two by Two Guitars!

Sandra Rosengren


In this lesson, students learn to play three simple chords on guitar while singing American folk songs.


The student independently performs melodies and patterns with various rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic classroom instruments (e.g., recorders, keyboards, barred instruments, and autoharps), with appropriate instrumental techniques.


-Guitar Picks
-Chord Charts
-The Music Connection: Silver Burdette Ginn 1995, teacher's manual, grade 5, pp. 346, 347 -The Music Connection: Silver Burdette Ginn 1995, grade 5 student book page 59, Home On The Range
-Alternate resource: Get America Singing...Again! a project of the Music Educators National Conference, Hal Leonard Corporation 1996 I.S.B.N. O-7935-6636-3, Home On The Range, page 23


-Copy chord chart found on page 346 of the Teacher's Manual for each student.
-Tune guitars
-Count out enough picks for each student


1. Pair up two students per guitar.
2. Distribute chord diagrams to each student.
3. Teacher demonstrates the shape of the D chord, G chord, and the A chord.
4. Students assist partner in placing fingers on the correct fret for each chord.
5. Students strum a steady beat on the D chord with a pick while the partner sings -Home On The Range-.
6. Students take turns playing the guitar.
7. As class progresses, add the G chord to the song.
8. Once students have mastered the D and G chords, add the A chord.
9. Students change chords in I, IV, V pattern.
10. One student sings -Home On The Range- while his/her partner plays chord changes on the guitar.


Students should receive a rating of Superior if they play all three chords correctly and are able to change chords at the appropriate place during the song. A rating of Excellent should be given if the student demonstrates the ability to play at least two chords in the correct hand position, but does not play chord changes at the appropriate place during the song. A rating of Poor should be given if the student is unable to play all three chords in the correct hand position and unable to change chords at the appropriate place during the song. Students earning a Poor rating could be given one week to practice at home or after school in the music room then retake a playing test. If the student still fails to satisfactorily complete the assignment, but is willing to learn, he/she could be given a practice partner and a period of no longer than two weeks to try again.


Students may learn to accompany other songs such as Christmas carols and other folk songs. This lesson can also be used with autoharps.
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