Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fall Fun! Vocal Explorations and Jack-o-lantern Stack- a melody and rhythm matching game for fall

I LOVE Autumn- the sweaters, the boots, the cool weather- it is definitely my favorite season.  Maybe it's because my birthday is in the Fall... 


One of my favorite things to do is coming up with new games for my students to play and I made this one last year for my students hand-writing it all. However,  I decided this year to convert my "Do You Wanna Build A Snowman" files in my TPT store to work for any season and hence came the digital version of Jack-o-lantern stack! There are five levels of the game so far that start with ta (quarter note), ti-ti (beamed eighth notes), quarter rest and move up all the way through the l,-d-r-m-s-l-d' tone set and tika-ti (2 16th notes beamed with an eighth) rhythms.  All are on sale for 20% off through September 29, 2014!

For the game, the students match 3 pumpkins- one with a song title, one with the melody written in solfa notation and one with the rhythm.  


Students can then extend the activity to write all or parts of the songs onto the staff using a worksheet, an interactive white board or other manipulatives.  This activity is great for stations or small group work with-in your general music class.  I have played in various ways:

Game A: In groups, have students correctly match a given song.  This can either be done for practice where each group takes their time and you move onto the next song when all groups are successful– each team getting a point when they correctly match all 3 Jack-o-lanterns OR you can have students race and the 1st group to correctly match the given song is the only group to get the point. 

Game B:  Students are challenged to correctly match as many songs as possible in the given time limit (approximately 5 minutes). The team with the most correct matches wins!

Extension: Have students match a song, and then transfer the knowledge of the melody and rhythm combined to write the song In staff notation, giving the place for DO.  This can be on a dry-erase board, Interactive whiteboard, OR worksheet (attached).

Students love to race to match the most songs or when in stations we see which group can match the most in the given time (usually 5 or 6 minutes.) 
Other Versions: 
Jack-o-lantern stack solfege: Big Set
Do You Wanna Build a Snowman solfege: Big Set
Jack-o-lantern stack instruments: Orchestra
Jack-o-lantern stack music terms: Vocab
Other Seasons Instruments: Orchestra and Classroom
Other Seasons music terms: Vocab

Also posted recently on my TPT store were Fall themed Vocal Exploration Pathways sets.  I posted 3 sets- an Autumn themed set with cute raccoons playing in the leaves, Ghost set with adorable ghosts, and a Halloween set with spiders, ghosts, Frankenstein and more! Students follow the given path on one page and on the next can draw their own.  Each set has 30 pages of fun for students! All 3 are also posted as a bundle and it's priced as a buy 2 get 1 free deal! 90 pages of vocal explorations for only $3.00!









Have fun with these fall products and check out some of my other fall ideas for the younger ones here: http://emilyskodalymusic.blogspot.com/2012/10/3-fall-highlow-activities.html

Don't forget to follow me on facebook! www.facebook.com/emilyskodalymusic

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday Book Club Linky Party


Welcome to the Tuesday Book Club Linky Party!  I will be posting the 2nd Tuesday of every month with a favorite Story book to read or sing.   There are so many great books out there that students (and teachers) love! If you are a blogger feel free to link up and share your favorite book to read/ sing to your students by following the directions at the end of the post. The linky party will always be open for a until the end of the month.

My first Tuesday Book Club book is one that my students, grades 1-6, always LOVE and ask for again and again: Senor Don Gato- Illustrated by John Mander.  Get the book HERE.



This wonderful, silly folk song about a cat who gets a love letter and, the book jacket says it best, "...A dramatic chain of events is set into motion.  There is a tragic fall, a heart-rendering death scene, a village thrown into mourning for its fallen hero... and then love, returned to life and triumphant..."  The students love the silly story, and especially the singing of Meow Meow Meow on every page.

If you are unfamiliar with the folk song, the melody is included on the last two pages of the book.

The illustrations of this book are fun, quirky, and beautiful.  My favorite is the last page, where Don Gato and his love are sitting atop a roof looking at the moon, being serenaded by a mouse with a guitar- be sure not to skip it, as the song ends the page before!

I really try to integrate this book into a lesson where cats were already present (Naught Kitty Cat, Bow Wow Says the Dog, Pussy Cat Pussy Cat Where Have You Been, or Mouse Mousie are just some examples). While not necessary, it is a good transition from "story position" to our next song when I can ask the students "what song do we already know that is about cats?"  I also use this song, for older students, as an "unknown" sight reading example. They can read the 1st two lines to practice low la and fa as well as tom-ti (dotted-quarter eighth).  The 3rd line has a "di" so I would stop the sight-reading after the first two and then just have the students listen to the story- Identifying when the pattern they learned comes up on each page or set of pages for a verse.

Blog about your favorite story book to read or sing to your class and link up! Feel free to link a post you have written previously about your favorite book too- just edit the post to add the Tuesday Book Club Picture. 

If you are a teacher blogger wanting to link up, here are directions:
  • Save the "Tuesday Book Club" graphic to your computer and include it in your blog with a link to this blog entry.
  • Blog about one of your favorite books to sing/ read to your students. Include pictures with links when possible.
  • Submit your information by clicking on the "Add your link" button below!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Jill Trinka Song Books

Many of you probably already know about these-JILL TRINKA FOLK SONG BOOKS- but I just got them and I am so excited!  This set of books is great for resources- and they call come with a CD that is awesome for sub-use or just a great vocal model.


I bought all 4 books/ cds with my school budget this year and they have folk-songs, play parties, and folk-dances. (1- My Little Rooster, 2- Bought Me A Cat, 3- John, the Rabbit, and 4- The Little Black Bull). Each book had a few songs I already knew, and many that I did not.  I can't wait to comb through and make Master Copies/ Retrievals to add to my collection.  One thing to note about the CD is that the songs are in a different order than they are in the book (which is alphabetical) so it is a good idea to make a note on the song page of what track the song is on the CD. 


In each book there are approximately 25 songs so if you get all 4 that is approximately 100 songs with all the important info laid out for you very clearly!   There are songs with many tone-sets and in many time-signatures so they are great for all ages of general music.  In the beginning, there is a contents in alphabetical order, and then an index that groups songs by type or suggested instrumentation (which is used on the CD).  There is also a key of important things to know and where to look for information on each songs page. For each song, Jill Trinka tells you what type of song it is (cumulative animal, play party, singing game, etc) and the origin.   There is also stick notation with solfa and words written underneath, a comfortable starting pitch, a suggested tempo, and the tone set listed.  Game or dance directions are included when applicable.  All of the game directions, I think, are super clear and easy to follow.  


One of the things I really love about these books is that in addition to the origin, Jill also gives her source and a little more info on the songs history than you typically see. For example- for the song Bought Me A Cat, we learn that it is "...widely known in the United States, appearing in many guises.  [The version she includes in the book] is based on that appearing in Ruth Crawford Seeger's American Folk Songs for Children (New York: Doubleday and Co., 1948, pp. 104-108)..." 

What are your favorite resources?  Share in the comments below! 


Also- Starting on Tuesdays I will be hosting a linky party called "Tuesday Book Club" where teachers can post about their favorite story/ song book they like to read/ sing in class.  We all have so many great song picture books that I thought it would be a great way to share.  Instructions on how to link up will be in the post tomorrow!  

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook now too! EmilysKodalyMusic  I will be posting blog posts, new TPT products, favorite pins or music-related videos, and more!