Under the Tree! A Time Signature Activity for the Kodaly or Orff Classroom

I needed a time signature activity that was seasonal and more than just a "fill-in-the-blank" deal which is all that I had, and I wanted an activity I could use as a reinforcement and assessment of time signature and note lengths.

So enter--

And when I saw the trees and gift clip art, it was just too good to pass up!

I included both the traditional time signatures. . .

. . .and a simplified version many teachers (including myself) use when first introducing time signatures.

I kept the rhythms simple only using quarter note, half note, barred eighth notes, and quarter rest as I didn't want to bog students down too much with trying to figure out how many beats are happening.  We're still earlier in the year.  Maybe a trickier one for later. . . :-)

Students' job will be to work in small groups to match the gift measures to the correct time signature tree.

I"ll come back a different day with the same activity with the exception of seeing which group can get their gifts to the trees the quickest!

Then I'll have them compose their own four measure rhythms using the cards from the game.

And finally, I'll assign/have the groups choose the time signature they'd like to use and using the blank gifts I've included create their own four measure rhythms.

I think this series of games and activities will be a lot of fun while also reinforcing and putting into practice students' knowledge of time signatures and note values!

If you think so too just click on any of the pictures above and it will take you to my TpT store where I have this activity and many others for you to purchase.


TpT Cyber Monday Sale!!!

Thought I'd jump on board and do my very first sale in celebration of Cyber Monday!

On Monday, 12/2/2013 and Tuesday, 12/3/2013  go to my TpT store by clicking on the picture below and get 20% off everything in my store plus another 10% off the discount price when you enter the Promo Code when you check out.

Just in time to stock up on activities for this coming winter season! :-)


Cup of Cocoa: Do-Re-Mi-So / La,-Do-Re-Mi / Bundled Set

I just posted "Cup of Cocoa" games for Do-Re-Mi-So and La,-Do-Re-Mi to my TpT store!  If you want directions for the activity click on the link provided.

I've included some pictures from the activities themselves.  The picture below is from the D-R-M-S game.

D-R-M-S Game
In this particular activity, I've also included flagged eighth notes.  I always feel like my students don't get to see eighth notes written this way enough.

D-R-M-S Game flagged eighth notes
To get my older students some more experience in reading melodies based on Low La (La,) I also created a L,-D-R-M Cup of Cocoa game.  Again, I included flagged eighth notes.

L,-D-R-M Game
I've also put all the "Cup of Cocoa" games together in a bundled set that includes the S-M, S-M-L, M-R-D, D-R-M-S, and L,-D-R-M games.  The link for the bundled games is in the picture below.

Bundled Set
I'm really excited for these activities in my classes!  It's a great way to assess my students' abilities to read and sing melodies and rhythms while also including all my students in the music learning process as not all of them celebrate the holidays.

Cup of Cocoa Solfege and Rhythm Game for So-Mi, So-Mi-La, and Mi-Re-Do

In getting ready for the winter season, I am trying to create things that all my students can participate in within the music classroom.  I have quite a few students who do not celebrate holidays or they don't celebrate traditional American winter holidays, so I am trying to go beyond Christmas trees, Rudolph, etc.

Hence--the creation of "Cup of Cocoa"!

I love hot cocoa in the winter time!  And adding extras like chocolate, mint, and marshmallows is the stuff of winter dreams to me. :-)

So I thought I'd combine my love for hot cocoa and the intervals we are working on in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade.

This game steps up the requirements for students in reading notes on the staff.  I typically start students on the staff with just pictures in the lines/space or round note heads, but now we are starting to get to the point where we are ready to add some rhythm.

I'm keeping it generally easy by only using quarter notes and barred eighth notes, and as students come more proficient, I will create more games in which they can read more complex rhythms with the solfege.

I've created this So-Mi game for my 1st graders (Click on any of the pictures and it will connect you with my TpT store for the game on which you clicked).

S-M Game

As explained before in this game students combine their ability in read and sing the intervals they've been practicing on the staff with simple rhythm.

S-M Game

Start by reviewing aurally melodies for the game which you desire to play with you students.  Include rhythm (quarter notes and eighth notes) in a "copy me" or "follow me" style.

S-M Game

Here are some pics from the So-Mi-La game for my 2nd graders.

Split the class into two groups.  You can either do this by where they sit or more strategically by ability.

S-M-L Game

Open the PDF file and put into "Full Screen Mode" as explained in the directions.

Groups take turns reading the melodies written on the slides.

S-M-L Game

Groups have a small amount of time (your choice-- you know your students better than I) to figure out the rhythm and melody.  If students only get a small part of the melody and rhythm correct, click on the word "some".  There students will receive 1 treat for their team.  This could be as simple as a point written on the board to some sort of item (like little erasers, etc) to show what they've earned for their team.

This will hyperlink you to a page with one treat.  I've switched out what treats go in in what order to make it more interesting.

Here's a couple screen shots from the Mi, Re, Do game for my 3rd grade students.

M-R-D Game

M-R-D Game

If students are able to get most of the melody.  For example, they get the rhythm correct OR they get the melody correct, then click on "Most" where students will receive 2 treats.

Finally, if students are able to get both the melody and rhythm of the treat card correct, click on "All!" and it will take you to a 3 treat card.

At the end of the game, which ever team has the most point, items, etc.  They're team is the winner!  I generally have the winners give themselves a pat on the back and the satisfaction of winning as a prize, but you could, of course, reward your winning team in the way you feel appropriate for your classroom.

MRD Game

Hope these games help your students review S-M, S-M-L, and M-R-D on the staff in a fun way with a bit of rhythm thrown in too for a little extra challenge!

Voice Exploration: What DOES the Fox Say?

With 2 1/2 teenagers at my house (one is a preteen) I have been hearing this song A LOT so I couldn't resist the idea of creating the following activity for my elementary music students.

In this FREEBIE currently on TpT (you can click on any of the pictures to get there) I've provided a link to the music video on YouTube if you are unfamiliar with this piece that has recently become so popular.  There are seven actual vocal exploration slides.

They start out basic in the way students follow the dotted line with their voices.

Going through the slides they increasingly become more involved in the vocal movement while not getting "too crazy".

This is perfect for your younger grades (K-2) but I think with the current popularity of the song you could probably also "sell" this to your older grades.

At the end, I've included a link to a YouTube video that has some different fox calls on it.  It was very intriguing to hear what sound the fox actually makes.

I also plan on using these slides as the Winter Break comes closer and students are a bit more fidgety. I plan to have them not only use their voices but also their entire bodies as we follow the fox through the woods.

Any way you decide to use this, I hope you and your class enjoy it!

Time to add some La to your So-Mi-ing? So Mi La Cards

If your students are just learning So and Mi, check out my So Mi Cards post!

After experience with aural, kinesthetic, and written So Mi, traditionally teachers at La to the mix.  I've added So, Mi, La Cards to my Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) store.  These cards are set up much like my So Mi cards with, of course, the addition of La.

These cards are set up not only for students to be able to read projected or printed melodies based on So, Mi and La, but also could be used as posters for your classroom and for activities within the music classroom.  Activity ideas are included in the packet.  You can click on any of the pictures to take you my store!

I've included three note three line staff melodies for students who have had little experience with a staff, and I've included three note five line staff melodies for older students who have had some experience with the staff but this is perhaps this is some their first experiences with melodic training.

Melodies are colorful circles in lines or spaces, or they are also written in standard quarter note notation.

I've also made sure to include line So and space So to assist students in the realization that these melodic intervals can happen in various parts of the staff.

I've also included standard black notation for the teachers who prefer their students reading that.

Enjoy! :-)

Students 1st Experience with Written Melodies: So Mi Solfege Cards

I'm so excited to have uploaded my complete So Mi Cards to Teachers Pay Teachers!  In this PDF file I've included three note melodies that will help your students formally visualize what they have been aurally and kinesthetically been practicing in their music classroom.  Also included are some activity ideas that you can use in assisting your students in this process. You can click on any of the pictures to take you to me store!

What I love about these cards is that not only can they be used as flashcards (either projected or printed) or colorful posters for your classroom, but they can also be printed for games and melodic writing activities.

I've also made sure to include a variety of ways you can share these cards with your students: three lined staff for the younger grades that have yet to gain much experience with a staff and a five lined staff version for older students who have had more experience with the staff but perhaps are new to interval training. Also some teachers prefer to teach their students So in a space and others prefer So in a line.  So I've included that too.

Lastly, some teachers prefer to see regular notation or notation that is your standard black.  So I've also included this in these slides for the teachers who prefer it.

Hope you find something in these slides for your students who are just starting their adventure in melodic interval training! To check out a free sample of these cards, check out THIS blog post.

Five Fat Turkeys and Rhythms for the Kodaly and Orff Classroom

I recently posted an interactive lesson (for MIMIO) on TeachersPayTeachers.com entitled "Five Fat Turkeys and Turkey Rhythms".  I think you'll find it's a lot of fun!  See the picture below for a direct link.

**UPDATE! 11/06/13** If you do not have a Mimio, I have uploaded other versions of this same lesson for Smartboard, PowerPoint, and a printable PDF version!

I this lesson students learn the song "Five Fat Turkeys" (one of my favorites for the lower grades!).  They review the rhythms they know so far.  I've included several slides that include different combinations of Ta, Ti-Ti, quarter note and rest, half note and rest, and barred and flagged eighth notes.

After reviewing the rhythms, students are led to discover that words have been assigned to each rhythm.  There are suggestions for movements to accompany the words OR you could certainly use your own!

As this particular posting is a Mimio file, students are able to drag and create their own four beat rhythms!

Students then sing the song followed by acting out and reading the rhythms created.  The form is AB repeated.  So then you would choose a new student or students to create a new rhythm!

From start, teaching the song to end a few time repeating the complete form, I time this lesson at about 12-15 minutes.  I don't like staying on any one activity for too long, especially in the lower grades, so this would obviously be accompanied by many other activities and musical learning experiences.

At the schools I teach, this lesson would be appropriate for the 1st-3rd grades.  However, your students could be at a completely different level than mine in their music learning.  So use it where you can! :-)

I will be posting other forms of this lesson plan (Smartboard, PowerPoint, PDF) soon!