Sunday, November 15, 2015

I'm Thankful for Fun and Easy Thanksgiving Lessons

NOVEMBER is already here and we made it through the Veteran's Day week of Respect and Remembrance--NOW WHAT? I thought I'd just share some of the highlights of what I'm doing this month in the Music room.


 Recently I found this adorable video from Thailand of a performance of the song, "I'm a Very Fine Turkey".   This video shows me a new way we can learn music skills from this song. I love how the students are playing xylophones, echoing the gobbling sounds of a turkey. I believe they are playing low C/G and then high C/G.
And I have to admit that I love to watch the Kinders act like little turkeys in the barnyard and when I teach them this song. I've used it as an activity song. First the boys get to be the turkey's in the middle of the circle, and then the girls. The students on the outside of the circle sing the song.

First graders are singing Turkey Vocalizations and learning to sing mi-so-la. I use the game song I wrote "Turkey, Turkey Where are You Hiding?"

                        NOVEMBER SONG *KODALY *RHYTHM "November, November" *Printables
I like to present Native American music to them during this time of year. I have some selections from the Silver Burdett curriculum. I also found this nice Sioux lullaby (though not from the Eastern Native Americans) it's very pretty and I believe some first graders could play the parts depending on your students. You can find the information and link to the music HERE. 

We've been working on our music program "Making Friends Around the World Through Music".
There are no speaking parts in the script. The students chant before each song. It goes like this:
ALL: We're going to Israel.
GIRLS: Shalom
Boys: Shalom
ALL: Can everyone say Shalom?
We are singing songs and doing dances from Israel, China, Maori, Africa and Puerto Rico (we're singing "Cheki Morena" in spanish.)
For each country 1 class will do a dance or game and play instruments. We are only using recorded music for two out of the seven songs. I'll be playing piano, guitar and ukulele for the rest of them.

I have third grade every day during the last 40 minutes of school. If I had to pick the worst time to teach music it would be for this block of time. They bring their backpacks to class and it's a very difficult transition for them. I have found that doing vocal warm ups and  singing several songs right away get's them ready for a short lesson and then activity. I'm using my TURKEY VOCAL EXPLORATIONS and they really like these.

 So far this lesson plan has worked well.
We are singing partner songs: "This Old Man" with "Michael Finnagan" and we are singing some Thanksgiving songs like "Come Ye Thankful People Come", "Over the River and Through the Woods", and one by Teresa Jennings from M-K8 Magazine called, "Thankful Most of All for Me". I've been doing Rhythmic reading activities with a Thanksgiving Theme and some Solfege reading in a game song I turned into a really fun Orff and Kodaly lesson.

     NOVEMBER SONG *KODALY *RHYTHM "November, November" *Printables
Here's a FREE COLOR BY NOTE PRINTABLE that would be great for second or third grade.
                       Turkey - Color By Note
My fourth graders just finished their Veteran's Day program and had a class reward party watching the "STOMP" video which they really liked. I'm going to have them piggy back on Third Grade lessons for a quick review of some of the concepts presented in the game songs--but mainly I'm going to have them work on a new project I just developed using "OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS".

As you can see there's a nice teaching power point about 6/8 time signature, strong/weak beat, lyric pages and beat charts and a printable--then I composed an easy ORFF arrangement for melody, bass, jingle bell and wood block. I created 3 versions-1 with Note Names, 1 with Color Notes and 1 regular score.  I'll teach each part separately and then we'll see if we can put it together in the next 3 weeks.
If you're following me on Facebook, then you'll find out when the complete product will be available--soon!  It's not for sale yet--so I'm going to use the MELODY AND CHORDS SHEET MUSIC FREEBIE to say THANK YOU for reading my blog and FOLLOWING ME!    I give out Freebies every month at my store and if you hurry, you'll catch Novembers' which will come out in the next few days.

We are learning keyboard skills in 5th grade. I had them work on "America" and 3 beat time signature,  and now I will have them work on the melody of "OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS" and 6/8 time signature, along with eighth and sixteenth notes. I downloaded this Freebie to use as an activity during that last week before Thanksgiving.
           Fall Music Game: Pumpkin Grand Staff Freebie!

We're just getting started in our guitar curriculum. We learned easy C chord last week and I will be presenting the F and G chords to them. I have some easy songs for them to play in a power point presentation. Some of them are nursery rhymes like Frere Jacques and Row, Row, Row Your Boat. We also use "I'm Gonna Play Guitar" an M-K8 song to learn the G chord.
I also will have them work on "I've Got the Turkey Blues" a song that I wrote. We'll learn A7, D7 and G7 chords to play this funny song.
 Thanksgiving Song *Singing *Guitar *Piano *Mp3 Track "I've

Most of all I'm grateful for the chance to share with you!
What are some of your easy November lesson ideas?

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