Latin Music Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What is unique about Latin music? This lesson plan uses an entertaining video lesson to explain essential facts about this popular musical genre. An activity gives students a chance to replicate the rhythms of Latin music.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • discuss the origins of Latin music
  • summarize key characteristics of Latin music
  • explain the common rhythms of Latin music
  • list the instruments used in Latin music
  • describe the movements of Latin dance


45 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.


  • An audio sample of popular Latin music
  • An audio sample of a basic son clave rhythm pattern
  • An audio sample of a basic rumba clave rhythm pattern
  • A video clip of Latin dance
  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated text lesson
  • Assorted musical instruments (e.g. claves, small drums, maracas, tambourines, and so on)

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