This is our second week back at school (!) and my third graders play recorders. They will get their recorders tomorrow and are so unbelievably excited! I used a new lesson to teach Hot Cross Buns (oh that infernal song!) and it was so fun. First I taught the song with solfege, then with words, then added an overhead clap on "hot", a crossed arm snap (at chest level) on "cross" and a pat on "buns". On "one a penny..." they turned around in place. We did this several times, adjusting the tempo each time. The next class we reviewed the song and then partnered up. Each partner group was given a 24" x 3" piece of laminated black posterboard. This will become 8 beats of rhythm the students will develop. Each group is also given a plastic ziploc bag containing quarter notes, paired eighth notes, and quarter rests (each a different color) on laminated 3" by 3" construction paper. On 6" by 3" pieces you can have half notes and half rests. We reviewed the notes and the note values on the board (draw quarter note and an equal sign with 1, half note = 2 beats, etc.). Directions were to work with their groups to develop a rhythm and practice their rhythm. I travelled around the room, making suggestions here and there and once everyone had practiced together a few times, students then were joined up with other pairs to make a group of four. Each partner pair was responsible for clapping and saying their rhythm, not the other pair.
Each groups rhythm became the "B" section for the song. Groups were numbered and the final form was A (song), B (group 1), A, B (group 2), etc. Students then were given an instrument (we kept it simple with groups each receiving tambourines and maracas/shakers) and we performed it again. Truly fun and the kids loved it AND it was a great way to review rhythms, create in groups, easy assessment, and perform a new song that we will transfer next week to recorders! Wahoo!