Looking for fun songs and activities for your music lessons this week? In this blog post, I will detail one song, game, book, or activity from each of my lessons this week. Keep scrolling to the bottom of the post to listen to the accompanying podcast episode, in which I go into even more detail about my lessons! Also make sure to sign up to receive my freebies at the bottom of this blog post, which includes a template to keep track of what you’ll be doing in your lessons each week, as well as a game for assessing students understanding of la.
In first grade this week, we’ll be practicing long and short-short, which they just learned last week (in preparation for ta and ti-ti, or quarter and eighth notes.) At the end of the lesson, students will learn the dance, “Highway No. 1,” which is one of my favorites! The recording is by the Shenanigans, and tells students within the recording what to do, when.
When I visited Australia, I actually got to ride on Highway No. 1! It is a highway that goes around the perimeter of Australia. Here’s a picture of it:
When I teach it, I’ll be sharing this picture with my students and telling them about my trip!
With second grade, we’ll be practicing la and 2-beat meter. Students will be assessed on how well they identify patterns with la. After hearing a melodic pattern, they’ll choose from three different patterns written in stick notation. We’ll be doing differentiated centers in the next lesson for la, so the data I’ll collect from this game will help me figure out how to personalize instruction. To receive the “Trick or Treat” assessment game I’ll be using, scroll to the bottom of this set and sign up for my email list.
With third grade, I’ll be presenting 4/4, or 4-beat meter. Using many of the materials in this set. The students will be practicing meter by bouncing tennis balls. When they hear patterns of two (the C major chord in one hand and then the C major chord two octaves higher in the other), they will bounce and catch. When they hear patterns of three (C major in one hand, C major in the other two octaves higher, on beats 2 and 3), they will bounce, catch, then tap their shoulder or head. When they hear patterns of 4, they will bounce, catch, tap, tap.
This is a great way to get them to really listen for strong beats and weak beats, and get them to internalize meter. Here’s a picture of my student teacher Laurel doing this activity with second graders, to practice 2-beat meter.
With fourth grade, I’ll be doing differentiated centers for tika-ti, using some of the materials in this set:
I did a pre-test with fourth graders in the last lesson, to figure out how well they could hear patterns with that rhythm, and in this lesson, we’ll have six centers from which students can choose. Three of the centers will be differentiated, which means there will be three levels for those tasks, and students do the task for the color card they’ve been given (blue for level 1, green for level 2, and pink for level 3.) For more information about differentiated centers, check out this blog post. One of the new centers I’ll be trying uses the website www.therhythmtrainer.com, which you can read more about here. Students will work at Chromebooks. The Level 1 students will dictate rhythm patterns after listening to a pattern, in “slow mode.” Students at level 2 will choose all the rhythms they know, then work in B mode. They’ll listen to four patterns played slowly, and choose which one matches, which is a bit more difficult than the task given to level 1 students. Level 3 students will do the same as level 2, but in fast mode. I’m excited to see how students do with this task, and improve their rhythmic understanding!
Fifth graders are preparing for their upcoming program, which is based off the book “Down in the Subway.” They will be performing songs such as “Water Come a Me Eye,” “Day-O,” and “Four White Horses”; I’ll write more about the program in a future blog post. They will be learning the hand jive for “Four White Horses,” seen here:
Here is the podcast episode, with even more detail about what I'll be doing this week:
Sign up below to receive the “Trick or Treat” game for la, as well as a planning document.
Other links from the podcast episode:
- Episode 32, “Peek at my Week”
- Episode 26, “Specdrums in the Music Room”
- Australia ABC's Book
- Australia ABC's Musical Program
- Treble Clef Halloween Game
- Staff Wars App
- Lindsay Jervis' “Rhythm Telephone” Game for Tika-Ti
- “Ghostie Dance” Game by Linda McPherson
- Orff arrangement for “Mango Walk”
- “World Music Drumming” Book by Will Schmid
- “I Love a Rainy Night” Dance
What are you doing with your students this week? Feel free to comment below, and happy teaching!