This year, I focused on teaching the Nutcracker to second grade. After reading the story of the Nutcracker and talking about it's origins, we watched and listened to some of the most famous pieces, including the "March." The students got so excited when they recognized this piece:
Next, we listened to the song again and discovered it's form. Second grade classes have been talking a lot about form this year, so they figured it out very quickly! After studying the varying sections, the students learned that this is called Rondo Form (when the A section - or refrain - alternates with contrasting themes).
The students were then introduced to our new movement prop, Mr. Stretchy Band!
Using a lesson plan from Artie Almeida's "Parachutes and Ribbons and Scarves, Oh My!" we used Mr. Stretchy to move to the various sections of the March. During the A sections, students used the stretchy band to form a circle and marched to the music.
During the contrasting sections, the students stopped marching and faced the middle of the circle. Holding the stretchy band above their heads, they listened as I called out different colors. When their color was called, they had to run under the stretchy band and quickly switch places with somebody else. Of course, they thought this was so much fun!
Learning while having fun... my favorite combination! ツ