The Week of the Cherries!

This is the woman I can "blame" for my past Thursday-Monday. She's my mother. :-)

She taught me the ins and outs of canning growing up as we had a HUGE garden my father maintained (but we weeded). So growing up we'd do all sorts of canning: peaches, plums, pears, corn, beans, pickles, relish, raspberries, tomatoes, tomato soup-- you get the picture.

I have continued canning now as an adult and parent. I love that I am in charge of what is in my food, and, for the most part, I know exactly what's in it. So needless to say I couldn't possibly pass up the opportunity to harvest so FREE cherries!

This is a picture of the two and half gallon buckets we filled the first day:

The Beginning of Cherry Madness
The second day we were able to pick even more! It was crazy how much this poor neglected tree produced!

Here is a partial picture of my (almost) end result:

The END of Cherry Madness
I couldn't back up anymore without all my empty jars and cherries I jammed later showing up in the background. :-P  I can't wait for all the cherry pie, adding cherries to smoothies, pureeing cherries for a cherry syrup for pancakes, and we are already enjoying some of the cherry jam from one of the containers that didn't quite have enough to process.

Now what does ANY of this have to do with a music blog, you say?

With cherries "on the brain" I have created an activity just like my S'mores activity except with cherries! I'm thinking I'll use it at the beginning of 1st grade when we are reviewing our iconic notation.

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As of today, I am only five away. :-) 

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As I said before, this is set up just like my S'mores rhythms I used with my Kindergarten students last school year. If you are interested in reading about and downloading the S'mores Rhythm packet, you can do it by clicking HERE.

I SO love the pretty red color!

I am going to have my students read the single cherries as "Mmm" and the connected cherries as "Cher-ries". My up and coming 1st  grade students have already had many experiences with iconic rhythms. So they are used to reading rhythms using all sorts of different words, sounds, etc. that I come up with. You. of course, could adapt this to whatever your students say. :-)

We will also read these using unpitched percussion instruments like triangles, woodblocks, drums, sticks, etc.

When we get to the composition part of our experiences with the cherry rhythms, I decided to include a full sheet for composing

AND a half sheet option

After my experience with the full sheet s'mores rhythms and having them take up a good portion of both sides of the hallway that is available for me to use and using TONS of paper, I liked the idea of a half sheet option.

With my S'mores activity, it worked really well to have a container of one sound in a beat already cut out and another container of two sounds in a beat already cut out set up at the front of the room. My students do have chairs so I sent them up a few at a time to choose which combination of pictures they wanted. Then they would return to their chairs that they used as a desk.  This worked really well. 

I did the same with crayons. Students chose one crayon at a time to color their creation. When they were done, they would go back up and choose another one.  

I was fortunate enough to get lots of glue sticks, but I found that many Kinders wanted to make sure that every. single. bit. of the paper they are gluing is covered in glue. That took too long for me. So I kept some sticks with me and started to quickly help those that had to wait. Students passed off their glue sticks when they were done to others that needed them.  They were very helpful and concerned that everyone had a chance to use the glue. :-)

I hope you like this activity as much as I do! I can't wait to make it available to all you when I hit the big 3-0-0! :-)


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