Thursday, June 28, 2012


Yes, I am alive.  I was just at camp for a few weeks.  But I am back, and in the midst of preparing for my last 3 weeks of grad school and the World Choir Games here in Cincinnati I HOPE to post more.

So, last post, so long ago, was about preparing and practicing elements so I figured today I would give a few tips on Presenting an element to your class.

When presenting, students should already know everything there is to know about the element- except the real name.  If it is a note- is it a step, a skip, or a leap away from known notes?  Is it higher or lower than known notes- or in between?  If it is a rhythm, they should be able to identify it in new songs and old songs, and new patterns.

When doing a present lesson- I choose the present song first.  The present song should have the element only once in it (if possible) AND should have no other unknown elements in it.

Start the lesson as you would any other lesson- I always start singing a few songs that will be in the lesson later to give the students brains a preview of mystery songs.

Whatever song I choose next is used again in lesson.  I always use the first song in lesson and read it with the element still unknown, and then as soon as the element is presented we go back to the song.

The rest of the lesson flows pretty normally (obviously there is no pivot song, because the whole lesson is focused on the element being presented).  I try to use manipulatives, board work, inner hearing, etc.

Right before I present, I am sure to do a Final Aural Prep which is basically a "repeat after me" that gets continually harder.  Students start just by repeating directly after me.  I then show them the first solfa note (or tell them what rhythm sound the pattern starts on) using hand-signs and loo the pattern.  Next, I just loo the patterns.  After that- I sing the words of a known song while signing the first solfa note and  finally I just sing the words.   Students are required to sing back on solfa for EVERY LEVEL.

The last pattern always leads to the present song- which I have on the board, but missing the measure that contains the new element.

When actually presenting, I am sure to go over all the things students should know about the element- the name, steps, skips, common patterns, handsign, etc.

We then find the new element in other songs.

See below for a sample RE present lesson.

Next post will be on using popular music in upper-elementary grade classes.  :)

Daily Plan
     Grade: 2
 Number:  25 or so
Known Melodic: d, m, s, l and “new”
Known Rhythmic: q iq z h
Behavioral Objectives: Students are engaged and having fun while learning!
Activity Types: Read_x_ Write_x_  Partwork _x_  Form_x_  Improv __  Move_x_ 
                          Listen_x_ Instruments_x_ solo singing __

Materials: Tuning Fork                                                Song List on Board
                   Closet Key Solfa notation on board 6         Key on string
                   Who’s That Visual w/ solfa cards  
                   Bow wow wow on board – last 2 mm not filled in
                   Closet Key on Staff – some notes missing, some solfa missing
                    My Aunt Came Back book + Words of 1st vs on board with missing solfa
                   Xylo visual for Hot Crossed Buns- Instruments in F pentatonic
                   Sneaky Snake melodic for Hop Old Squirrel
Songs: Closet key, Who’s That? Bow-wow-wow, Hot Crossed Buns, Grandma Grunts,

Procedure: F= do

2 min: Students Sing Following Songs that MAY be used in the Lesson
                        Bow-wow-wow, Hot Crossed Buns, Closet Key, Grandma Grunts, Who’s That

                        Ss. silently read solfa notation on board; ID song
                        Ss. sing song on solfa syllables (use hand signs) 
                        Ss. sing song on words- (use hand signs)  à Students sing to a circle
                        Play Game (usually 2 rounds- for peer teaching just 1)

Transition: Please sing that song back to your seat as I loo another song against you

5 min: WHO’S THAT    
                        Ss. ID song from Ts Loos
                        Ss. sing song
                        T. uses visual and Ss. Loo song à Ss. Sing song on solfa with Hand signs
                        Ss. use solfa cards to put solfa onto visual (tape!)
                        Part work as visual shows
                                    T. holds “that” first
                                    Then Split class
Transition: First solfa Pattern comes from Whose That 

7 min: BOW-WOW-WOW
            FAP-             A) T. sings/ signs 4 beat melodic pattern à students echo
                                    (dd-mm-r-d) (m-r-d-r)
                                   B) T. signs first solfa note, then loos pattern à Ss. Echo à sign/sing solfa
                                    (d-r-m-d)   (m-m-r-m)
                         C) T loos melody without showing first note à Ss. Echo à Ss. Sign/sing solfa
                                    (ss-l-s-m-r)  (s-l-s-m-r-d)
                        D) T signs first solfa note, then sings words à Ss. Echo à Ss. Loo à Ss. Sign/sing solfa
                                    (m   r r r r d m d) –blue bird     (d-d-mm-d-m-r-d) – Grandma Grunts
                        E) T sings words à Ss. Echo à Ss. Loo à Ss. Sign/ sing solfa
                                    (d-d-m-m-r-m)- Closet Key   (mm- rr- d) – Rain is falling down

Transition: The last pattern sung from Rain… is VERY similar to the end of the song on board.  Can you figure out what it is?
            Present- Have song on board (F = d) [Diagram A]. 
                        A) Ss read/ sign/ sing solfa of phrases 1-3 and identify the song. 
                        B) Ss. Determine and write text of last phrase under staff [Diagram B-1]. 
                        C) Ss. re-sing last 2 phrase -resing solfa for ph 3 – loo on ph. 4 à Sing both on solfa                                                 determine solfa and mark in dashes above text [Diagram B-2].                         
                        D)Place solfa notes onto staff [Diagram C].
                        E) Review qualities of “?” – Step v than mi, step ^ than do (btw mi and do).  Hand Staff Ch.
                        F)Present “?” = re [Diagram D] and show correct handsign (w/ ss have already been doing).                         G)Ss Sign/ Sing the staff notation with solfa. 
                        H)Ss Sing lyrics and sign solfa. 
                        I) Play the Game!           

Transition: Please sing BOW WOW WOW back to your seats as I loo another song.

4 min: CLOSET KEY  
                        We just discov. re in Bow-wow-wow.  Let’s prac. it more by figuring out the next song!
                        T. Loos patterns on board à Students echo  (dd-mm-r-m) (dd-mm-dd-m) (dd-mm-r-d) 
                        T. loos melody by phrase à Class echos then sings back melody with solfa
                                    Put melody cards in order
                        I have put some of this song on the staff already- Can you fill in the missing solfa/ notation?
                                                (diff students do diff mm)
                        MEMORY GAME:
                                    Ss. Discover form of song [A B A Bv]. 
                                    T. Erases mm. and students sing solfa from memory.

8 min: MY AUNT CAME BACK (book/ new song)
                        T. Sings story
                        Ss. Figure out Solfa Phrase by Phrase  (T gives Toneset) (fill in missing)
                        Ss. sing on solfa
                        T. Sings story again- this time adding motions J

5 min: S-L-M  (up to 5 pts) (USE RE A LOT)

Transition: Echo sing to groups (T. Sings Hot Crossed Buns on Solfa then ANN)


                        S. figure out from echo singing
                        Add B Section Yummy Yummy Hot Crossed Buns
                        Ss. sing song to lines of 4 students each behind pre set instruments
                        Ss. Sing and play along with the song (instruments pentatonic – find m-r-d on chart)
                                    Rotate during spoken B Section
We have another RE song about one of my family members?  We have already sang it earlier in the lesson- can someone tell me what song they think it might be?

Transition: Now that we know where m-r-d are on the instrument let’s play a few more patterns

4 min: Students play 2 patterns each then rotate (end with Grandma Grunts dd mmd m r d)

                        Our last pattern was from one of our songs! It’s one about one of my family members… but NOT my aunt…
                        Do partwork with Grandma Grunts – in canon  sing on words w/ handsigns
                        Change it up- T. loos hop old squirrel against G. Grunts

                        Sneaky Snake
                        Play Nut Game (3 at a time, ALL GO TODAY)– after turn Ss. line up at door, but still sing!

1 min: Hop Old Squirrell as they go to the door


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