Saturday, September 20, 2014

Elementary School Wiggles, Worms and Wildness

I don't know about any of you fellow elementary school teachers, but last week all the wiggles, worms and wildness seeped from every into every kid. Just when I thought we could really do something--like play music--I had to regroup. Our Wednesday schedule is a shortened day and so I decided to get really creative with the kids. I drew some rhythm lines on the board.
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and a circle map


I told the KINDERGARTNERS that since we've had so much rain--we'd be making some rain music today.  If they were really good, I'd get out a whole bunch of instruments for them to play. Cheers erupted--but you have to be good :)

We brainstormed rain words:
thunder
lightening
wind
rain
storm
mud
puddles (we had to talk about how fun they are to jump in)
and on...until I had enough to quickly put together a short little
poem.

Rain falls to the ground
Hear the crash splish splash
Plip plop it never stops
Mud puddles all around

Then I divided them into rows and organized the instruments.
RAIN -XYLOPHONES ON C-G STEADY BEAT (play the whole song)
THUNDER-DRUMS-STEADY BEAT
WIND-SAND BLOCKS
LIGHTNING-SHAKERS
MUD-WOOD BLOCKS
STORM-EVERYONE

We aren't quite ready to play OSTINATO RHYTHMS yet, so I just let them go for it as long as they played softly.

Here's the song we sang to: ( you could use RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY)
C
Rain is a'comin' Oh yeah--
C                           G7
Rain is a 'comin' Oh yeah--
C
Rain is a'comin' Oh yeah--
C             G7         C
Rain is a 'comin, down.

4 Beats to slash/ 8 beats a line….
t ti-ti ta ta/ ta ta---
E EE  D  C  \ E C-
E EE D   C  \ E D-
E EE D   C  \E C-

E EE DD-   \  C-

(sorry--don't have time to notate for you right now.)

So--then we just changed the word "rain" for each verse.
Students played their instrument only on the verse that we sang their "weather word". AT the end we all played "storm".
They loved it.
With only 30 minutes to pull it off--we had to get down and dirty pretty fast. But it worked!
Smiles on their faces as they left the room!
When the weather in the kids behavior changes--sometimes you need to change your teaching gear!

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