Sunday, October 21, 2012

Apple and Pumpkin Melody Match

double-sided tone ladders for Apple Tree and Little Leaves

The second graders are currently in the land of "do."  
We've sung and played games, body signed, showed the "low" note by bending or ducking as we sang, echoed patterns while using individual tone ladders, and written do melodies with leaf note heads.

staff boards and leaf notes for melodic writing

This week I'll present do and the do clef and we'll focus on identifying, reading and writing do songs on the staff.

do Songs

  • Apple Tree
  • Little Leaves
  • Mouse Mousie
  • Pumpkin Man (only the first two measures)
  • One, Two, Three (Johnny Caught a Flea)

One of the practice activities I'll be incorporating is my 
Apple and Pumpkin Melody Match

I found foam apples (the come in packages mixed green and red and can be found in the dollar bin,) and foam pumpkins. (I really need to own stock in Target stores. They receive a lot of my cash.)

On each apple I wrote the solfa of a do melodic pattern. 
On the pumpkins I wrote the same melody on the staff with a do clef:

I stripped away the rhythm of these patterns because I want students to focus on the melody. (Have you ever noticed when showing mystery songs many kids will figure it out by matching the words and the rhythm and neglect the melody entirely? No? Just me? ...ok...) 

Each student will start the game with a pumpkin or an apple. 
They must find their partner and then write out their melody jointly on a staff board.   
I have pumpkin, ghost, leaves, and blackcat noteheads, (thank you, Amy!) once the pair have found each other they can choose which noteheads they use to write their pattern.

Here are some of the do patterns I've used and what song and phrase they are from:

Do you have additional do songs/activities? Please let me know.
Have a lovely autumn week!


  1. Great ideas, Tanya! I'm thinking TRIKE members should try making these at our make and take workshop in January. :) Other "do" songs I love include "Sorida," "King's Land," "Pease Porridge Hot," "Wallflowers," and "Bingo Bongolo."

  2. Thank you, Aileen. Great song additions! I save "Pease Porriage Hot" as a new song to read but I've completely neglected the others you mentioned. (I save "Wallflowers" for re and "Sorida" for 4th grade Africa. I've had safety/excitement issues with the game for "King's Land" so that song is taking a year off!) I don't know "Bingo Bongolo" at all.

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  4. I'm curious about your "do clef" that you use. Where did that come from exactly? We incorporate do re mi fa so la ti do in the same way and showing on the musical staff, but I've never seen this symbol you use or heard of a "do clef". I'm assuming that the sign is marked to where the do note starts? Would you ever use any other "clef" signs?

  5. The do clef comes from Kodály training. Several Kodály music texts use the do clef, It's a way to show where do "lives" without the need of accidentals or specifying absolute pitches (letters). Everything is relative to "do" and one can sing "do" on any pitch. I introduce the treble clef in 3rd grade when we begin recorders, because with recorder music we are reading and playing absolute pitches. When it comes to teaching young children beginning reading skills, I want the emphasis to be on the intervalic relationships in the melodies they learn. Then they are making a connection between what they hear, sing, and read, without being bogged down with "it's-in-the-first-space-it's-called-"F". Memorizing letter names on any staff is meaningless unless we are directly applying it to playing an instrument, (and while I use barred instruments, I teach beginning staff reading through singing.)