My husband is the art teacher and often has extra materials he can't use. (Many parents donate excess graph paper, card stock, and other supplies.) I spied several brightly colored tongue depressors in his room a few weeks ago. When I asked if he had plans for them, he said "no" and gladly handed them over.
We've been preparing do and reviewing sol mi la songs in 2nd grade so I thought the sticks would provide a different way to practice constructing known songs.
I used the following songs:
I have a SMART Board file with each song written out in stick notation (with the solfa written in underneath the rhythm.) After printing out copies of each song I cut them up in 4 beat phrases and glued each phrase on one side of the stick. On the other side is a small picture indicating what song the phrase is from. (You can see the little pictures near the song titles.)
After reviewing the songs, we made a circle and students select one stick each. (One fun way to choose sticks is to play Apple Tree and have the eliminated student pick a stick until everyone has one.)
Students identify their "teammates" by finding those who have the same color and picture on their song stick. Each team rebuilds their assigned song as a team and practices singing and body signing the song.
Once a team is confident their song is built correctly, they request a song sheet from me and check to see if it matches.
2nd graders check their song
Are all of my students able to put together a known sol mi la song from memory
with the stick notation?
How can make this activity a successful learning experience for everyone?
- Many students will benefit from being in a group where they can work together.
- Some students with stronger skills have the option of building their song with a partner, (there are always uneven groups so this is a great way divvy out the song sticks.)
- Some groups build their song with the song sheet in hand. Yes, they are essentially copying the song. This is still a reinforcement of the melody, rhythm and form of the song and those students can still be successful.
I'm all about doing the same old thing in a slightly different way.
(And I just love those colorful song sticks!)