For the song that brought me joy, I picked Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. I shared that if I am feeling down, that song gives me hope. With every example I played a bit of each song so they could hear what I meant.
I let them know it was okay to go as deep or as shallow as they were comfortable, as they selected and wrote about their songs.
When the writing was done, I went around and each student shared the contemporary song they liked right now and just one of the three other selections. This helped people get to know each other, and there were songs I even looked up later to add to my classroom playlist.
When sharing was complete, students reviewed their 4 songs and picked the one they felt would have the most vivid imagery to use as an illustration. They looked up some of the lyrics and sketched on the back of their worksheets. As they worked I gave them one requirement: The lyrics or words must be integrated into the image. They could not be in a box off to the side, but had to be within the drawing in a creative way. They did not have to be all the lyrics, a small selection would be acceptable, but integration was key. (Problem solving)
I stopped everyone to give a demo about my coloring expectations as sketches were nearing completion. I showed how to layer colors for a sense of richness, and to use smaller pencil strokes so work did not look scribbled. I kept it simple, but let them know this was something I was going to look for when I graded their work, along with the integration of text.
Let me know your thoughts in comments below the images.