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2nd Graders Perform BOOtiful Music at Local Nursing Home

"Mwa Ha Ha" was one of our favorite songs to perform.
 Many thanks to Mrs. Miller for helping us make masks! They were beautiful, scary, quirky and perfect!

We sang "Apple on a Stick" and "Pumpkin March" using these props that we created in music class.

Another favorite of the residents was "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain".

Congratulations to the GES Second Graders for a great performance!

Build a Rhythm Blocks

Some third graders at GES are building rhythms with Mega-Blocks.  Each single block represents one beat.  Each note on the single beat block equals one beat.  Most blocks have a quarter note, quarter rest, barred eighth notes and 4 sixteenth notes.  The other blocks represent other note values including half notes, dotted half notes and whole notes.  Students build a row of rhythms and then clap them.  Then they add another row and clap both rows.  They continue until it is time to move to a new station or they run out of blocks.

There's a Spider on the Floor

"There's a spider on the floor, on the floor..."  Kindergardeners used these colorful spiders to sing the song, "Spider on the Floor".  We also used them to help us make up lots of new verses to the song. 

"There's a spider on my head, on my head...."
"There's a spider on my chest, on my chest...."

Leaf Man

I attended a workshop a few weeks ago presented by Dan Fee and was introduced to the book Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert.  It is a beautiful book.  The illustrations are just amazing.  In this activity we listened to "Rustle of Spring" by Sinding while listening to the book.  (I know it says "spring" but it really works with this book.)  Then we took portions of the book and dramatized them with colored "leaves".  Students used their critical listening skills and creativity to dramatically join Leaf Man on his journey.

Students in 1st and 2nd Grades did this activity.  Watch the video below of a first grade group listening and dramatizing Leaf Man.

Pawpaws for Paw Paw Patch

We are so lucky to live in Missouri!  When fourth graders learned the folk song and play party game called "Paw Paw Patch" most of the students didn't know what they were.  Thanks to a wonderful parent for sending in a couple of real pawpaws for students to examine.

Jazzy Jack-o-Lanters

Students in first grade were given a sheet of music symbols.  We identified the ones we new and briefly talked about the new symbols.  Then I challenged students to use only music symbols to create a jazzy jack-o-lantern.  I showed them some samples from a bulletin board I created and they were off.  I love how creative they were!

Carnival of Animals

One of my favorite Second Grade units is Carnival of the Animals.  We learn about this music of Saint Saens and do some fun activities that focus on listening skills.  Carnival of the Animals is a set of pieces that Saint Saens, a French composer, wrote as a joke.  These pieces were all meant to sound like, imitate or make you think of various animals.   To begin this unit we listened to a few pieces and imagined what the composer might have wanted us to identify.  "Do the strings sound like chickens in this piece?"  "Why do you think Saint Saens used a low sounding instrument for the elephant?"  and "What instrument is playing the roar of the lion?" were just a few questions we discussed while listening.
Later while listening to "The Aquarium" we discovered a new note-the whole note.  This note looks a lot like a donut and gets four counts (ta-a-a-a).  We moved to the whole note and then used bottles of bubbles to blow through the whole note.  Students used their critical listening skills and stirred bubbles until they heard a whoe note in the melody and then blew four counts worth of bubbles.

A few weeks ago I attended a workshop by Dan Fee (who is AMAZING!).  The bubbles and the cup stacking in the next activity were ideas that he described in his workshop.  The kids had such a great time!  For the "Tortoise" we moved very slow, like tortoises,  and stacked cups.  Only by moving slowly like a tortoise could we get our stacks all the way up.  During this activity students got to hear this amazing music over and over, used problem solving skills to decide how to complete the task alone, with a partner and with a group. Fun!

Other Carnival of the Animals activities included using ribbon streamers to dance like birds and to identify the "cuckoo" sound made by the clarinet in the "Cuckoo" piece.
Watch the video we watched in class HERE.  This video allows students to hear Carnival of the Animals poetry, see the animals from the pieces and hear an orchestra perform the music.

Autumn Leaves are Falling

Students in Kindergarten and First Grades listened to the song "Autumn Leaves" which is in a minor key.  We responded to the music by moving back and forth to the beat like trees waving in the wind.  Next we added "leaves" to our dramatization by holding scarves and moving to the flowing, minor melody.  I love how the kiddos were so passionate and expressive!

Star Spangled Banner Centers

GES third graders have just finished their Star Spangled Banner unit.  During this time students learned about the composer, Francis Scott Key.  They also learned about the history of the song, defined some hard words in the first verse and worked to memorize it.  The pictures below are of the Star Spangled Banner Workstations we did.
Sticky Note Singing

This is what workstations look like in the music room.  This group worked so well in groups.  Look at all the learning taking place!

Sing In the Blanks Workstation

Listening Station

Teachers:  You can get the workstations here.
Word Find


Sticky Note Singing


Write on!