Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Apple Tree

One of my favorite songs to do in the spring with 1st and 2nd grade is Apple Tree.  I use this song for ta/ ti-ti in first grade, then bring it back for do in 2nd.  I don't teach kindergarten, so I am typically just presenting these concepts in the spring.

WORDS AND SOLFA                                     RHYTHM
Apple Tree, Apple Tree                                     II  I    II   I
  s   s    m      s    s    m

Will Your Apples Fall On Me                            II   II   II   I
  s      s       l    l       s    s    m

I Won't Cry and I Won't Shout                          II   II   II   I
s     s      m    m  s     s        m

If Your Apples Knock Me Out                          II   II   II   I
s    s       l     l       s        s      d

The game is super fun and I use the song to teach a lot of concepts. For the game, which is played much like London Bridge,  students stand in a circle and the teacher and one other student make a bridge (or arch) by connecting their hands and holding them up in the air. The other students march in a circle to the beat of the song and on the last word of the song "out" the bridge lower arms to trap someone in the bridge.  That person then becomes a new bridge.  You can play where there is always one bridge and it changes every round OR play with cumulative bridges where each time a new bridge is added until all students are caught.  My students prefer the latter.

For first grade I have a SMART file that uses pictures for the rhythm and then we convert to stick notation and compare the lines discovering the 1st line is the only one that is different.  We read the rhythm, memorize the rhythm and do things like partner rhythms (where student A taps the beat in student Bs hand, and student B taps the w/r in As hand), circle rhythms where we tap the rhythm on the shoulder of the person to our right and group rhythms where 1/2 of the class says the tas and half the tit-tis to isolate the differences.

For second grade, we do similar things with Do.  The SMARTfile uses icons to show the contour of the song (mostly s-m-l with only one do at the end).  For this we use the same isolation technique as the rhythm, but each row (I have 4) has a different solfa syllable to sing.  We also fill in the missing or write out a line using both solfa notation and staff notation using manipulatives, magnets etc.

Check out the SMARTboard file here:
Emily's Wix Site

Reminder: Even if you don't have a SMARTboard (or other interactive whiteboard) in your room, you can still get the software if you can get a SMART product key.  I know many teachers who have gotten the software and then projected onto a regular projector screen and had the kids manipulate the files using the computer rather than an actual interactive white board.  They were able to gather data to show their school how useful this teaching tool can be and ended up with a SMARTboard of their own after writing grants, etc.


  1. Game variation: Instead of a bridge, three students make a join hands circle (apple orchard). The students walk through the orchard. When a student is caught, they become part of the orchard. The orchard keeps getting bigger and bigger. With a large class, your can also make concentric circles after a good amount of students have been caught.

  2. Hello! I would love to access your files - I just got a smartboard! :) But the links are not working. Any chance you could email them or work some magic on those links? :) Thanks!

    1. I have updated the links now to go to google drive and it should work! Please let me know if it does not and I will keep working on it.

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