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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Music Activities

My students and I have been on spring break this past week, so they will have lots to share about their Easter activities when we get back to school on Monday.  What a great time to capitalize on their excitement in a musical way.  




Of course we can't get through the week after Easter without getting out the egg shakers!  Because the egg shakers have a quiet, swishing sound, everyone can have one at the same time.  I purchased enough of the plastic eggs to make a class set one year when they were on half price.  I filled them with a small quantity of plastic pony beads from the craft store.  I chose to use beads instead of rice or barley (as suggested in most online how-to tutorials) because my school has had bug and mice problems in the past.  The problems are gone now, but I do not want ANYTHING resembling mouse food to be stored in my classroom! 

While it is easy to make your own egg shakers, I am sad to say that nothing that I have tried (super glue, hot glue, pretty vinyl tape, masking tape) will actually guarantee that the eggs won't pop open.   :(    Send me your suggestions in the comments!  My solution is to have a short discussion about how to be a great community member.  Would community members try to peel the tape and pop the eggs open to ruin them, or would they try to keep the tape pressed down to keep the eggs closed?  

Any song with a steady beat will do for a shaky egg activity.  A favorite song is Shakey, Shakey Egg from Music K-8 Magazine.  You can listen here.  I like this song because there are easy to sing verses, not too many words, and musical interludes that are perfect for shaking.  These musical interludes allow me to differentiate the activity based on the age of the students.  Of course, the younger students, kindergarteners, get to shake away free-style!  With my 1st & 2nd graders, I set up a pattern of echo the rhythm pattern where I play a 4-beat pattern and the students echo.  For 3rd & 4th grade students, I created a PowerPoint displaying the familiar 4-beat rhythm patterns to read & shake during each interlude.   

Kindergarten through Second Grade will be singing one song just for fun:  One Green Jelly Bean!  This is a great song from Denise Gagne's Movement Songs Children Love.  Here is a YouTube video that you can use if you do not have the book:




My older students will be going Easter Egg Tonal Pattern Hunting.  


We have already practiced identifying the function of tonic and dominant patterns that we hear.  I created this set of D Major tonic and dominant patterns to provide a visual representation of those familiar patterns and give me the option of making a game out of our practice.  The large practice patterns can be printed and used as flash cards, or displayed on your IWB.




One slide contains all eight of the patterns.  This allows me to displaying all the patterns on the SmartBoard at the same time, and have a practice game while the children are seated in a more controlled manner.   


When it is time to go on a pattern hunt, I spread the printed pattern cards around the room, either by hanging on the walls or by laying them on the floor in the center of our circle.  Students who are "it" will search for the printed pattern to match the pattern that I sing.



***UPDATE, 2016****
This year, I wanted to do some center activities, so I created some Write the Room worksheets to go along with the Easter Egg Tonal Pattern Hunt cards.  I will be placing 4 cards in each center, along with the appropriate worksheet.  Students will practice their music notation writing, and of course singing the tonal patterns as they write.  This activity will have the most success if students are experienced with singing tonal patterns.  If your students don't have too much experience, even an introductory activity, echo-singing through the patterns as they are displayed on your IWB will be helpful.

Thanks for stopping by!  

Sally

Check out some other great spring music activities at Sing, Play, Creatively.


3 comments:

  1. Sally, I wonder if the thick clear mailing tape would work on the eggs. I put things on the cinder block walls outside my classroom and even duct tape won't stick, but the clear mailing tape does, yet it is easy to get off as well.

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    1. I haven't tried that kind of tape, so maybe it would work better. It seems that the curvature of the egg and the exuberance of the children just don't go together very well!

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  2. I use the clear packing tape and it works really well-thanks for linking up! I love your song choices and ideas!

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