Friday, November 21, 2014

Turkey Carols

Fourth graders have been creating Turkey Carols!

First, we talked about the words "tune" and "lyrics."

Next, we had a "Turkey Carol" sing-along as we looked at some examples. Then, students got with small groups and began to create their own. They picked a topic, chose a tune, and then got to work creating their own lyrics.

Finally they edited and wrote a final draft...

And performed them for the class:

Alabama Gal

Alabama Gal... what a fun song! Our fifth graders have really enjoyed learning this piece. After we learned the 4 verses, we added a fun line dance!

I also used this song to talk a little with them about syncopation.

Then, I challenged the students to figure out the melody to the song on their own. They worked with a partner and after being given the starting pitch, they were off! Once they discovered the melody and had a chance to practice, we created a performance including some dancers.

Great job, fifth graders! :)

Here is an Orff accompaniment that we might try after Thanksgiving break written by one of my favs, Deanna Stark. She has some GREAT free resources on her website:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

More Rhythm Centers

First graders have been working on basic rhythm patterns using quarter notes, eighth notes, and quarter rests. They have really enjoyed these rhythm centers to help them practice and review.

1) Koosh Rhythms - Students take turns tossing the koosh ball at the board. When they hit a circle, a rhythm will pop up and they have to read that rhythm correctly to their team. You can download this game here.

2) Rhythm Bingo - I have the students take turns calling out the rhythms. That way I can assess their rhythm reading and identification. When they get 5 in a row, they call out, "Bingo" and the students check their answers.

3) Rhythm Caterpillar - I got this idea from Mrs. King's Music Class blog. Students roll the dice to determine which circle to put on the caterpillars' body. Once the body is filled in, students choose an instrument and play the rhythm together. This center is designed to exposed students to 8 beat patterns.

4) Musical Groceries - First, students work together to figure out the rhythm of each food item. Then students pick 4 foods and place one on each plate. Students then have to perform the food names with their appropriate rhythm. Here are some other "Musical Groceries" ideas.

5) Busted Rhythm Game - Students take turns pulling out popsicle sticks and reading the rhythms to their team. If they get the rhythm correct, they get to keep the stick. When someone pulls out a "Busted" stick that person has to put all of their collected sticks back in the container. The game continues until all the sticks are pulled and the one with the most sticks is the winner.