Instrumental fish is a fun, handmade game! This idea came to me from an awesome music teacher in a neighboring district. The materials needed are: a poster board pond, laminated fish with instruments on one side and a magnet on the other, and fishing poles with magnets attached to the line.
Here is how we play the game:
1. Students are divided into two teams. One person from each team comes up and catches a fish. The fish are instrument side down and magnet side up. No one gets to see the fish but me.
2. I take Team #1′s instrumental fish and give them 3 clues about the instrument. They have one minute to discuss with their team. If they guess correctly, their team gets a point. If they guess incorrectly, Team #2 gets a chance to guess and steal the point. If neither team gets it correct, that instrument becomes a bonus point question at the end.
3. Then, Team #2 gets a chance to guess their fish.
4. After both Teams have gone, it’s time to send up another student from each team to catch another fish!
This game comes after an in-depth discussion on each family of instruments. My 4th grade students just love it! We go over instruments at the end of the year, usually in April, because they will have the opportunity to choose a band/orchestra instrument in 6th grade. I want them to have prior knowledge of the instruments!
January 2011 Posts: Previous posts about the FootNOTES rug I use to teach music literacy, how I use hula-hoops to conduct my students and using Froggy Gets Dressed with instruments for the winter!
Sing, Dance, Shake Your Tail Feathers: Decor outside the music room for the winter.
Squirm!: The musical I chose for the 1st grade performance in 2012 was a new one called Squirm! My students LOVED it! The songs, especially A Spider Song, are challenging yet so catchy that I want to listen to them over and over again!
Sometimes when looking at a blog, you don’t have time or get a chance to read articles written a year or two or three ago! So to help you out, here are posts from past Decembers!
Newest Puppets: If you haven’t already embraced the idea of using a puppet or two in your classroom, you should try it! Just start with one. Click here to read more!
It’s a Jungle in the Music Room!: “We’re Wild About Music” is the theme of my music room for the next several weeks. From the poster by my door, to my animal print clothing/accessories, to my books, to the lesson plans, to my puppets, to the instruments… all jungle and safari themed! It’s going to be a fun couple months! Click here to read more!
Flannelboard & Felt: After my workshop with Lynn Kleiner this summer, I added these resources to my classroom: a sky blue flannelboard and lots of felt!! Click here to read more about how I use them and what www.musicrhapsody.com says about using felt visuals!
Mega Sphere: It is official! The Hoberman 4.5 foot Mega Sphere is back in stock and back on the market! For $120, you get an exciting toy for your classroom. Why would I want this fun object in my music classroom, you ask? Well, it just so happens that a K-2 student fits perfectly inside this ball of colors and can use it to demonstrate their knowledge and recognition of high sounds versus low sounds. After students are familiar with the difference between high and low sounds, and know a few songs that demonstrate the two concepts, individual students can get in the mega sphere and when they hear high sounds the child expands the mega sphere by standing up, and when they hear low sounds the child squats down. Click here to read more!
VoiceSaver: My recent purchase: Califone VoiceSaver. This personal amplifier is perfect for projecting your voice and reducing strain. Click here to read more!
Sometimes when looking at a blog, you don’t have time or get a chance to read articles written a year or two or three ago! So to help you out, here are posts from October 2011:
Weather & Holidays: If you are looking for lesson plans or resources about the fall & winter season, or to use around the next two holidays - Halloween & Thanksgiving – please check in my lessons plans for information. Or if you prefer to write your own, here are some of the resources I am using this year… Click here to read more!
A Bugz Christmas!: Now it is time to begin working on the 2nd Grade musical,A Bugz Christmas! My 2nd graders listened to the entire musical and learned the first song today… they LOVE it! And I do too! This musical is not only enjoyable to kids, but for teachers and parents too! Click here to read more!
Whether it’s squealing, growling, whistling or singing the human voice is capable of creating all kinds of sounds. Here are a few fun ways to practice pitch exploration (and practice that head voice that so many children have difficulties with!).
Pitch Exploration Pathways: “By John Feierabend. Eleven large cards, each 11″ x 17″, printed in vibrant colors on cardstock. Each has a fun illustration with a movement line – such as a roller coaster car that has gone up and down several times. These drawings provide inspiration for children to make sliding sounds that explore the vocal muscles used to sing in the upper register or “head voice.” The teacher or group leader is encouraged to begin with descending sliding sounds and add ascending sliding sounds after the correct muscles are engaged. Just as an athlete warms up certain muscle groups before exercising, singers should “warm up” the head voice muscles with activities such as these before singing. Just as aerobics improve physical conditioning, vocal ability will improve if these pathways are used frequently. A sheet of teaching techniques is included. Pictures included: deflating balloon, skier, falling leaf, inchworm, snail, kangaroo, roller coaster car, butterfly, dragonfly, hot air balloon, and paper airplane.” From Amazon.com.
Pitch Exploration Stories: “By John Feierabend. Eleven large cards, each 11″ wide x 17″ high, printed in vibrant colors on cardstock. Each card has an illustration on the front, with a corresponding story on the back; the back side also has directions for the response sounds. These amusing stories help inspire children to make sliding sounds that explore the vocal muscles used to sing in the upper register or “head voice.” Just as an athlete warms up certain muscle groups before exercising, singers should “warm up” the head voice muscles with activities such as these before singing. Just as aerobics improve physical conditioning, vocal ability will improve if these stories are used frequently. For early childhood. Story cards: An Old Woman, Andrew Got a Pogo Stick, The Blue Cockatoo, Cowboy Joe, On a Dark & Stormy Night, The Airplane Ride, The Ice Cream Sundae, Big Pig, Mr. Wiggle & Mr. Waggle, 2 Little Puppets, Whoops Pardon Me.” from Amazon.com.
Vocal Development Kit: This kit, by Feierabend, contains ”puppets, toys, and instruments designed to help with two types of vocal development activities. Pitch Exploration Activities invite children to create sliding sounds and encourage them to use their head voices. Echo Songs and Call-and-Response Songs allow children to use their newly found head voices to sing short melodic phrases. A wonderful variety of activity ideas are found in this manual.” I did not purchase this kit, but at a recent workshop, got to experience many examples from this kit. I am making my own kit with a slide whistle, pipe cleaners, whale puppets, yarn, and a variety of other things. Here is how I will use a couple:
1. Slide Whistle: Students echo what you do on the slide whistle. They can pretend they have a slide whistle of their own while they echo.
2. Pipe cleaners: Teacher can use the pipe cleaner as a pretend slide whistle and students echo. Also, the teacher can make different shapes (like the letter “M”… cross curriculum!) and students say that shape with their voices. Also, students can have their own pipe cleaner to pretend it’s a slide whistle and make shapes to follow the pathways with their voice.
3. Yarn: Students make their own squiggle on the ground and follow the pathway with their voice. Travel to other student’s pathways.
4. Whales: Students make whale noises. Two students can have a whale conversation with each other.
A celebration of snow and slush! Last Thursday, my 2nd graders performed this awesome musical, Flakes, for a full house and they rocked it! The musical has cute dialogue, catchy songs, dancing suggestions and the message of “although we are alike, no wo are the same! You are special and unique like a snowflake!”. The recommended ages are K-3, but I recommend no younger than 2nd grade. In the songs Cold Snap and We’re Flakes!, the verses are wonderful, but a little tough to remember the words on if you don’t practice them quite a bit.
This musical has nothing to do with santa or Christmas, so if you are looking for something like that, then this is a winner!! All my students, regardless of beliefs, could participate in this musical.