Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sneaky Snake

Sneaky Snake Board
In my American Methodology book (check it out here) by "Sneaky Snake Publications" they mention the game Sneaky Snake a lot.  I am not sure if I am really doing it "right" but then again- what is right and wrong when teaching music as long as kids are learning and having fun?

Here is the way I have started to use the Sneaky Snake game:

I made a bulletin board that represents tall grasses (the grass actually acts as a pocket to hold all of the snakes) and a beautiful blue sky.  There is a slit in the sky to slide the snake into so only a part of the snake shows. The teacher gently pulls the snake so that more and more of the rhythm (or solfa) is shown.  When we do it as a class, the students are shown one measure at a time and try to guess the song before they can see the whole thing (kind of like Trivia nights, where they keep giving you clues, but the sooner you get the question right, the more points your team receives.)  My students typically guess after two measures and then we use the next 2 (or 6) to check our answer.   We can also do this game in teams and the first group to guess correctly gets the point  OR groups get 3 points if they know after the 1st measure, 2 points after the second is shown, and 1 after the 3rd (no points if they have to see the whole song.)

Grandma Grunts Snake (1st Half)
Another way you could do it is make velcro grass or clouds so you can cover up different parts of your snake so they are not always reading from beginning to end, but rather seeing random measures within the song.  This version always works in reverse as a memory game.  Students start by seeing the WHOLE song, then one measure is covered up each time they sing it until they are able to sing the rhythm (or solfa) without looking.  My students love memory games and always feel really accomplished when they not only memorize in the short-term- but retain the info.

This bulletin board has been up for a LONG time and my classes are really excited to start using it.  You could easily do this on the SMARTboard as well- same concept, just "hiding" the snake rhythm behind the grass picture and using your finger or the mouse to slowly pull the song out.  I hope to post a SMARTboard version soon - check back for updates!

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