Scott Joplin

A WebQuest for 4th Grade Music

Designed by: Mykala Shaver

Introduction | Learners | Standards | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Student Page


This lesson was developed as a supplement to the ragtime lesson within the 4th grade music curriculum at Ste. Genevieve RII School District. This can also be used during Black History Month to work with the social studies in the regular classroom.

The students are to research important and interesting information about Scoot Joplin by using the world wide web. They will then, in teams, create a slide show presentation about Joplin and his work.



This lesson is focused on the 4th grade music curriculum, specifically American music, which covers a Missourian musician. This assignment will expand into other subjects such as social studies, and technology. This lesson also encourages team work and leadership developing skills amongst the divided groups.

The 4th grade students will need to have the following prior knowledge: basic computer skills, research skills, power point knowledge, and team work skills.


Curriculum Standards

Student will gain a vast knowledge about a famous Missouri composer and will also gain a better understanding of Ragtime music.

Music Standards Addressed:

        The principles and elements of different art forms

        The vocabulary to explain perceptions about and evaluations of works in dance, music, theater and visual arts

        Visual and performing arts in historical and cultural contexts

The students will also better develop their critical thinking skills, team work skills, research skills, and team working skills.



1.      You will divide into teams of 2-3 and get together to collaborate.

2.      Begin researching Scott Joplin and chose important information about him to include in your presentation. Here are some helpful links for your search:


3.      Once the research is completed, go through all the information that you’ve gathered and pick out the most important pieces. This information will be used to create your presentation

4.      Your final task is to create a power point presentation about Scott Joplin. Be sure to include pictures, graphics, slide transitions, colors, and of course, your creativity. – MAKE SURE YOU SAVE your project after every change. Every team member must create at least one page of the presentation. You are allowed to do more than one, but everyone MUST create at least one.

5.      Once your presentation is completed, save it and let me know. I will then grade it.


This lesson will take at least 4 class periods. Two for research and two for the creation of the presentations. This is a multidisciplinary lesson that crosses from music to social studies, to library sciences. This lesson also incorporates teamwork. I usually allow the students to pick their own groups. Sometimes, depending on a particular group of kids, I’ll assign the groups for them.

The teacher is going to need to be aware of what the students are doing on the computers at all times, especially during the research process. It is important that the teacher observes the researching process to ensure that the students are getting the correct types of information, and that they remain on task. You don’t want to spend too many days on this project. Another skill set the teacher needs is to be proficient with whatever presentation device they are having their students use. I will have them use Microsoft PowerPoint.



Resources Needed

The resources needed are:

  • U Drives or saving devices for all students
  • Internet
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Computers or a computer lab
  • LCD projector – if you want the student groups to present aloud to the class



Here is a copy of the rubric used to grade student work:












Little or no information is included in the final project.

Fewer than 10 facts are included about Scott Joplin

There are at least 10 important facts included about Mr. Joplin.



Pictures/ Graphics


There are less than 3 pictures included.

4-6 pictures are included

7 or more pictures of Joplin or other graphics are included in the final project.





Overall presentation has several spelling and grammar errors. The facts aren’t presented in a way that makes sense.

The overall presentation is well put together, but there are several spelling and grammar errors.

There are little to no spelling and grammar errors. All facts are well put together and the presentation makes complete sense.





Little to no colors, backgrounds, graphics or transitions are used.

A few colors, different backgrounds, graphics and transitions are used.

Many colors, backgrounds, graphics and transitions are used.




Credits & References

Scott Joplin image taken from the following page: Joplin CD Cover

To acquire the latest version of this template and training materials, please visit the following links: The WebQuest Page, Design Patterns

We all benefit by being generous with our work. Permission is hereby granted for other educators to copy this WebQuest, update or otherwise modify it, and post it elsewhere provided that the original author's name is retained along with a link back to the original URL of this WebQuest. On the line after the original author's name, you may add Modified by (your name) on (date). If you do modify it, please let me know and provide the new URL.

Based on a template from The WebQuest Page