Last week, I ordered the book The Squiggle by Carole Lexa Schaefer. This book is about a little girl that finds a piece of string on a walk and her imagination transforms that string into many different things!
I have a plan to use this book with my 2nd or 3rd graders in a “use your imagination, explore your voice, explore your space” kinda lesson. I want to use this book with How to Speak Moo, as well. I would start with How to Speak Moo and the go to drawing squiggles on the board and having the students follow the squiggle with their voices. Then I would have students come draw their squiggles and lead the class in following theirs. Then we would discuss various ways we can explore those squiggles (body parts, backwards, faster, slower, loud soft).
Next, I would read to them The Squiggle, to get their imaginations going about what different squiggles can look like and represent in their imagination. Then each child will receive a string/piece of yarn (their own squiggle-maker!) and will be given time to experiment with different squiggles and come up with the one they like best. After they have their favorite squiggle, they will explore it with the different ways we discussed previously.
I will probably run out of time by then because we do “Rockin’ Rhythm Raps” during the first part of class. So I will ask them to remember their squiggle for next week. When they return, in “self-space”, they will draw their squiggle on a piece of paper and practice a couple more times. Then we will rotate to other squiggles and take 30 seconds exploring other student’s squiggles. Then move onto another voice exploration that was to do with the painting “Starry Night” and another book, that I will write about in another post.
Hopefully, because everyone is engaged in their own squiggle-exploring, there will be little self-consciousness. Of course, since this is the first time the students have encountered an activity like this, they may be a little unsure. Also, I have seen and participated in something like this at a Dalcroze movement orientated workshop, but have never been the facilitator of a lesson like this. So, I really don’t know what to expect. but I love to try new things and this is one I’m interested in.
- Another element I may add is scarves or ties. Students will use scarves or ties when exploring the squiggles with their bodies. This will allow them to be focused on an object instead of what others are thinking and whether or not they’re watching.
Please let me know if you are interested in this lesson plan, I’d be happy to post it. Also, let me know if you’ve tried something like this and whether or not it’s been successful. Thank you!
However, Northwest Arkansas has missed many (over 7) days of school due to snow and ice, so I definitely had to cut down this musical. I re-wrote the speaking parts, so that kids only memorized one line and even cut out the “slow” song. This musical has an age range of K-4, but I think it is more appropriate for upper grades, 2-4. My 1st graders loooooove it, and that is why they are being successful at the difficult songs (Commotion in the Ocean), but we’ll see what happens when we get on stage this week to practice.
Our first performance of the 1st grade musical “Go Fish!” is on March 3rd. Wish me luck!
Here is what www.musick8.com has to say about this musical: “A seven-legged octopus? A blowfish with allergies? A tuna that can’t carry a tune? Join in the aquatic fun as little Tiger Shark and his unique collection of friends discover how their differences make them each special. This musical for primary grades features five original songs, easy rhyming dialog, choreography, and helpful production hints. Songs include: Oceans Of Fun!, We’re Sharks!, Commotion In The Ocean, Roundup Under The Sea, The Colors Of The Sea, and Reprise: Oceans Of Fun!(20 minutes, Grades K-4)”
Last week, I received the musicals I ordered with my Praxis money — “Pirates! The Musical”, “A Penguin Christmas” and “Gotta Be Jazz”. All by John Jacobson, with the help of some others. I’ve always had good luck with his arrangements.
A great website to order musicals is: www.musick8.com. Here is what they have to say about each musical.
- “Pirates!” –“We’re off to sail the rollicking sea, pirates all are we!” But… ARRRR, and shiver me timbers! There’s a stowaway on board! Perhaps the King of the High “C’s” will know what to do. Join this salty crew of colorful scallywags when Bluebeard, Yellowbeard, Whitebeard, Purplebeard (well, you get the picture), along with the No Beards, hoist the Jolly Roger and set sail for a mighty adventure. Perfect for upper elementary and middle school performers, this 40-minute musical features six original songs for unison voices and some optional harmony, choreography, a helpful production guide, and a script with a minimum of 20 adaptable speaking parts. Songs include: Pirates All Are We, Stowaway!, King Of The High “C’s,” You Wanna Be A Pirate, Lost At Sea, and Singin’ A Pirate Song. (40 minutes, Grades 4-8)
- “Gotta Be Jazz” – Jam-packed with jazz history and fun facts, this unique revue features an original theme song and five jazz classics in kid-friendly arrangements, narrations for up to 57 speakers that set up the songs, riser choreography by John Jacobson, and professionally-produced recordings in true jazz form. Extend learning further with “The Story Of Jazz,” a spectacular full-color timeline and recorded history complete with narration and music excerpts of jazz standards spanning over a hundred years. Enjoy the sounds of ragtime, blues, dixieland, swing, big band, bebop, and more. Jazz music is only a little over a hundred years old and it is always changing. Who knows what it might sound like in another hundred years? Songs include: Gotta Be Jazz, Basin Street Blues, My Favorite Things, Route 66, It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), and Birdland. (30 minutes, Grades 4-8)
- “A Penguin Christmas” — Penguins at the North Pole? And a film crew, too? Join the mayhem and merriment as a cast-load of arctic (and antarctic) characters discover their special talents to make holiday happenings come true! From the popular writing team of John Jacobson and John Higgins comes this clever and easy-to-prepare 20-minute holiday musical for primary grades that will delight audiences of all ages. Five original songs, rhyming dialog, choreography, and staging tips are included in the Teacher’s Edition. Singer parts are available in the handy Reproducible Pack. Check out the Performance Kit for a real budget-saver option! (20 minutes, Grades K-3)
Love this video. Piano stairs. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Why do we use the pentatonic scale? Why are there bars missing from the xylophones in elementary music class? Bobby McFerrin demonstrates.
“Bobby McFerrin demonstrates the power of the pentatonic scale, using audience participation, at the event “Notes & Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus”, from the 2009 World Science Festival, June 12, 2009.” -YouTube.com
“Bobby McFerrin teaches how the Pentatonic scale is understood across all cultures using the audience’s assistance.” -TeacherTube.com
How to Speak Moo! by Deborah Fajerman, is my most recent book purchase. My mentor went to Wisconsin in November to the Orff Conference, and got some ideas for books and lesson plans. This book is one of them.
This book emphasizes vocal exploration in younger students (K-1), but is a fun filler for older grades (2-4). Students practice “moo-ing” in different ways- wobbly, high, low, soft, loud, sleepy, in a funnel, etc. Then during the story, the different “moo’s” are integrated and students have to “moo” as the pictures ask them to.
My kindergarten students enjoy participating with this book, and afterwards we do what I call a squiggle exercise. I draw a squiggle on the markerboard and students follow the contour of the squiggle with their voices. To keep it interesting, vary the speed of which you lead students through the squiggle and vary how you draw the squiggle. After I draw a couple squiggles, I choose a couple students, one at a time, to come draw their own squiggle to lead the class through… I call them a squiggle conductor! This is just a fun activity for kids to explore their voices and for a couple to be in front of the class being the squiggle conductor!
This book is rated 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com and cost $5.99 new.
Here is the product description from Amazon.com: “If the title sounds a little peculiar, that’s just the start! Here’s a totally silly book about cows that is sure to make kids giggle. It tells boys and girls all about the way cows do the high moo and the low moo . . . the bumpy moo and the jumpy moo. Kids are invited to try these moos out for themselves. Then they can discover how their moo sounds in a tunnel. Or through a funnel. Deborah Fajerman’s wonderfully quirky pictures and absolutely preposterous story will have young readers mooing along with the experts as they demonstrate the wonderful versatility of cows engaged in spirited conversation. Full-color illustrations on every silly page.”
“Rick Miller performs Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody by 25 of the most annoying voices in the music industry.” -YouTube.com