Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Worked for Me Wednesday- Cuckoo in the Deep Woods

Good morning!

     Well I've waited awhile to actually link up, but I really wanted to, so here goes! Aileen Miracle over at Mrs. Miracle's Music Room is hosting a "Worked for Me Wednesday" linky party!

My Worked for Me Wednesday idea stems from an awesome piece that you've all heard of- Carnival of the Animals. I always do a full rendition of Carnival of the Animals in 1st Grade, but I also explore one piece of it when I am studying high and low with Kindergarten. 

Listening lessons are often tough with Kindergarten classes, especially since I always have them at the very end of the day, but this one grasps the attention of all of my classes without fail. This is now the fourth year that I have done the lesson and I think I've gotten it just right. Here's how it goes:
  1. Students listen to the piece and try to recognize the repeated "sound." What does it sound like? (High-low, cu-ckoo)
  2. Students try to count in their heads how many "cuckoos" they hear in all. (I usually have 1-2 students get it right per class)
  3. Students count as a class in a whispering voice and come up with "21" cuckoos in all.
  4. I show them this listening map and they watch as I follow along with my finger:
  5. Students get the map and follow along with their fingers. Each dot represents a chord and each bird, of course, represents the cuckoo!
  6. Students receive a cotton ball and we practice throwing them in the air and catching them- I usually try to get the kids to throw them not too far in the air, so that they don't lose their cotton ball.
  7. Students follow the map and bounce their cotton ball each time there is a cuckoo!
  8. We review the High-Low sound.
I love this lesson because the kids are so focused on hearing the repeated "cuckoo," that they don't have time to be distracted or to distract others (for the most part). Also, I should note that I stole this listening map (with permission) from my Westminster Choir College professor, Dr. Sharon Morrow, who is an incredible elementary educator. I still use many of her lesson ideas to this day!

I hope you have time to try this lesson out! It's a great beginning of spring lesson, since we're hearing birds all over the place right now!
~Ms. Patrician


  1. Fun idea! Thanks for linking up! :)

  2. is that listening map able to be downloaded? My kids LOVE listening maps!!