I don't know about everyone else, but I tried to make sure I thoroughly enjoyed my break! I had a great time with my kids and my family, a baked up a storm, and I even finished some crochet projects that I've been meaning to finish for a while!
And now it's time to get busy with the second half of the year!
To kick it off, I was thinking about my 3rd grade that has been getting ready to label rondo form, and this is what popped into my head:
I have fond memories of the classic "Roses are red, Violets are Blue" poem but wanted to do something that had an underlying quarter note pulse as opposed to the 6/8 feel or the original "Roses" poem.
So I changed up the rhythm and words, and while I still have my memories intact with some of the words, I now have a short speech piece that satisfies the goals I have for my students.
Just a side note, the rhythm of this poem could also begin preparing students for "syncopa".
Students begin by learning the poem above. Then I'm going to have them add a four beat body percussion ostinato using anywhere between 1 and 4 levels. It'll be their choice. I have a Body Percussion Chart that I use in my classroom put out by Randy DeLelles and Jeff Kriske in the GamePlan series that is perfect for this very creation by students!
Included in the packet are full page valentine rhythms. Introduce the valentine rhythms by "saying and playing" each. When we "say and play" in my class we use our mouths to say and some sort of body percussion to play. In this case, we will clap the rhythm to match the words.
In this first experience, students will perform poem with the chosen body percussion, and while students are performing the poem, four fellow students will choose one large valentine rhythm a piece. After the poem, students will "say and play" the rhythm created. The form will be A (poem) B (valentine rhythm) A C A etc.
This much is perfect for a first time experience for younger students. The next class period they could move on to this next experience.
Older students could continue on to this next experience in the same class period.
Divide the class into groups. I have enough cards that you could make up to six sets of cards that have 12 cards each. I normally keep my sets of cards in little baggies to keep them separate, and I have all my games in sheet protectors in binders.
Each group gets one set of cards. They work together to create either a four beat rhythm they repeat or an eight beat rhythm they read once. After they've chosen their valentine rhythm cards, they work together to read it in rhythm. Finally, they will add some sort of body percussion/movement to match the rhythm they created.
When I have done activities like this in the past, I have some students that keep it very basic which is fine and I also have students that really go above and beyond. It's so fun to get to see their creative process and see the students working together.
After students have practiced their rhythms, we come back together as a class and say the poem. After the poem student groups take turns performing their created rhythms. The final form is poem (A), student group (B), poem (A), different student group (C), etc.
This is where I normally label rondo.
The final experience is where I will have students create their own valentine words and rhythms. I will break students into groups again, but this time the valentine cards they receive will be blank and they will need to make up their own words to put in each valentine cards and the body percussion/movement/etc.
The way I am planning on setting up this activity is that each valentine card will be two beats.
However, I know many people use hearts to show beats so you may want to change the rhythms to fit that purpose. It is always, of course, your choice! :-)