Thursday, October 24, 2013

Collaboration: Music and Art Reinforce Classroom Concepts!

Good morning everyone!

    I've been slacking a little bit on my posts this month- Honors Chorus auditions and the start of after-school clubs have recently taken over my life. However, I wanted to share this project that I did last year and have carried over with a new twist to this year.

    Every year, I read The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything to my 1st graders to start our discussion of Percussion instrument sub-families. Click on the link to get a SafeShare video of the book being read for you!

    This year, however, I collaborated with my art teacher to make the lesson even more exciting! She read the book to the students the week before I did my lesson, but she didn't show them any of the pictures. Then they had to guess what all the articles of clothing made at the end of the book (a scarecrow) and create it on their paper. This was really effective for me, because when the students came to my class the next week, they were excited to see the pictures and learn the ending! It was also a pretty awesome way for us as specials teachers to reinforce the concepts that are being taught in their classrooms right now: Characters, Setting, knowing details of a story/retelling the story by recalling what order the articles of clothing come in, as well as concepts of Fall as a season, and, most importantly- the Scarecrow!

    The video above helps, because I have many instruments that I am demonstrating during the story. Last year I juggled them all, but this year I'm using the video! Here are the instruments that I use:

Shoes go Clomp Clomp- Wood Block
Pants go Wiggle Wiggle- Guiro
Shirt goes Shake Shake- Maraca
White Gloves go Clap Clap- Hand Drum
Black Hat goes Nod Nod- Triangle
Pumpkin Head goes Boo Boo- Tambourine

    After I demonstrate how to play the instruments along with the book, I distribute the instruments  evenly between the students. We read the book again, and the students may only play when their article of clothing is making noise (two beats). On the third iteration of the book, the students switch instruments with their seat partner and play again, this time for a different article of clothing.

    Once we have played through it twice, we talk about our instruments, what they are made of, and that they all fit into the Percussion Family of the Orchestra. While discussing what each instrument is made of, we divide our instruments into 3 sub-families: Skin, Metal, and Wood. This sparks some good discussion about some of the instruments that may seem to fit into both (Hand Drum has both wood and skin qualities, Tambourine often has wood, skin, AND metal qualities).

    The students love the story (and yelling the different noises each piece of clothing makes), and of course they enjoy getting to play different instruments and talk about the different sounds we hear (timbre) depending on what material is involved.

   If there is extra time at the end of the period, I often use this free coloring sheet I found from Live Love Laugh Kindergarten on TpT: just use the coloring sheet, not the Roll and Color, since I don't have time to do that after the whole lesson.

Happy reading!

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