Tuesday, February 12, 2013

OMEA- Children's Lit and Movement!

Yay OMEA! I got so many great ideas that I cannot wait to try.  Today I will focus on those ideas I got related to movement and/ or Children's Literature.  Some seem like obvious ideas- yet I never came up with it, some expanding on games I already knew, and some brand new that I would have never thought of.

The first workshop I went to on Movement was: Purposeful Play given by Rodger Sams.  He has a book by a similar name that I hope to get for my B-day or Christmas this year-Purposeful Pathways. It is a little pricey to pay for myself, but my aunt and mom love getting me teaching books.  He showed us 2 activities that combine music literacy, movement, and orff instruments.  I have given a brief rundown of one of them here:

The first is Rain on the Green Grass (solfa and rhythm below) to decode So and Mi.
*To warm up, you have the students follow the patterns of the wind drawn on the board, and then do a few aural patterns with a slide whistle.  (I need to get a slide whistle! I keep seeing them and wanting one, but never order it!)
*He then led students to discover the rhythm of the song by showing Umbrellas for quarter notes , rain drops for paired eighths, and suns for rests. The students could then come up to the smart board and move the icons to match the melody.  They got to touch the rest and the sun was disappearing with a quarter rest behind it! Very cool!

*After students are successful singing and decoding the melody, he added an orff accomp with a chordal bordun and some other color parts on the rests or "things that get rained on".  It was all pretty standard good teaching practices up to this point, but after was the exciting part.  :)

*He added an interlude: Hear the Raindrops (x x x x) Hear the raindrops (x x x x) and students at the instruments were able to imitate either LOUD rainstorms, or a quiet drizzle in the beats of rest (x).

*He then combined the song with the poem "Rain is Falling Down"  and had the students create movement to the stanzas.  Fluid movements for light and peaceful rain, angular movements for thunder and lightning.  The movement started sustained and turned into locomotor with very clear directions.
*Finally, everything was performed together in ABA form- song, poem, song.  Everyone had something fun to do and it was a great way to introduce movement to the younger students (1st grade!)

Rain on the Green Grass, Rain on the Tree  z    (I ii I I    I ii I z)
   s    s    s     m         s        s    s    s     m

Rain on the roof top, Not on me z                     (I ii I I    I I I z)
  s     s    s     m    s     s     s   m

Poem: By Rodger Sams

Rain is falling down.
Such a Peaceful sound.
Oh, so gently, rain is falling
All Around

Rain is falling down.
Thunderstorms abound!
Lightning Crashing, storm clouds thrashing,
What a sound!

Rain is falling down.
Such a Peaceful sound.
Oh, so gently, rain is falling
All Around


The next movement workshop I went to was Elementary Music on the Move! given my Michael Roberts.
He gave lots of fun ideas from books such as "Jump Jim Joe"  and others from the New England Dancing Masters as well as some common line dances from today, like the cupid shuffle.  He led us through simultaneous imitation, remembered imitation, overlapping imitation, and student created movement as choreography using a "MENU" board.  He also mentioned movement cards, mirroring, and of course, organized dance.  If you are unsure what any of these are, just comment! (I may do a post next week with how I use some of these already in my classroom).  

What I really loved about this workshop was his idea for "Giraffes Can't Dance" A book by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker Rees where a giraffe named Gerald gets made fun of for being clumsy, but when he leaves the Jungle Dance he realizes that he can dance, he just need different music.  For a program, you could read the story and showcase different groups dancing throughout, to music mentioned in the book.  One group could salsa, one could do a Scottish reel, etc. OR Students could have the opportunity to choreograph and show off their OWN music that they love and the dances they like, because "We all can dance when we find music that we love".   Check out this video of the book- it is great! http://vimeo.com/33829782

The last workshop to be mentioned today was a SMARTboard workshop given by Tiffany Berting.  You can get all the files mentioned here: www.tiffany.berting.wix.com/music 

She started with a pitch exploration story about a kid named Jake who went to an amusement park.  The story was really cute and what I liked best (and will be adding to my pitch exploration book) was that she had a dot on the end of each line you can move to help the kids follow along with the sounds.  So great!

She had files for listening - such as Haydns Surprise symphony (tip toe tiptoe tiptoe LOOK!), and Carmen's "Toreador" song as well as files to teach rhythm such as bee bee bumble bee, pease porridge and 10 in the bed (this one has a really cute surprise where when you click the monkey he falls out and lands on his head!).
She showed us rhythm spinners and some great rhythm manipulatives.  There are so many files I can not wait to download.   One "duh" moment she gave me was when using rhythm manipulatives on the SMARTboard have all the kids with the same manipulatives they can all touch and use on their own laminated cards in front of them.  Then only allow the kids who get the answer right to go show the answer for all on the SMARTboard.  I was always unsure of what to have other kids doing while one was at the board.  This makes so much sense!

Students (well adults in the workshop) were able to work together to write rhythms in different ways during - with buttons (big for ta, small for ti-ti), colored rhythm cards, etc.  They were able to isolate rhythms by singing a song (or listening) and spliting into groups so group one only sings the Tas (quartner notes), group two only the Tika-Tikas (sixteenth notes) group 3 only the Ti Tis (eighth notes) etc.  I have already done this in my class and it is very fun.  The students stand when their rhythm comes up so it gets them moving too.

She had mystery songs AND showed us that you can combine the note heads from learning high and low with the rhythm stick notation for students to have an "Ah Ha" moment with music notes.  They know that the sticks show the rhythm, and the note heads show the melody, but you only have all the info you need when you combine them together.  Another fun thing was the dice spinner for Down By The Bay.  Instead of having bulky cards for the kids to choose to solo from, just have them tap the SMARTboard to role for thier solo verse!

One other thing Tiffany did was add a twist to the ever popular FREEZE dance.  She first read "My Many Colored Days" by Dr. Seuse and they discussed different feelings.  Then, during freeze dance if there is ever any extra time at the end of a lesson, she would play music that evokes different emotions and feelings.  After the students freeze, they are asked which color from the book they thought the music matched. This helps students to make purposeful choices in their movements so they aren't just shaking and stopping, but rather moving the way the music sounds.  This is a very cool, very easy,  idea to make a so-so game into one with more musicality.

I got so much out of this workshop including files that I am really excited to use in my plans coming up.  Be sure to check out Tiffany's webpage and blog and get those files!

If you would like me to go into detail about any of these games, manipulatives, stories, etc from this post, just comment! I would be happy to share more.


  1. Do you have more information on the purposeful play book? I'm having trouble finding it online. Thanks!

    1. It is actually called purposeful pathways- my fault. I have fixed it at the top of the blog. Here is a link! http://www.musiciselementary.com/mie2/product_info.php?products_id=4556

      Enjoy the book!