Thursday, March 13, 2014

Planting a Rainbow book and lesson and Upcoming Workshop!

I know.. it's been a while since posting but I've been CRAZY busy writing music to go with three Amazon/South American jungle stories; Conejito, Jabuti, and Papagayo.  Lovely childrens books and my first through fourth graders are performing these with music, speech, dancing, and a narrator!  More to come on that later...

I am so excited and honored to be the clinician at the newly formed Southeastern Carolina Chapter of the American Orff Schulwerk Association!! We are going to sing, play, dance, move, groove and have a blast in Lumberton, NC on March 29!! 

Today, I am excited to share with you a lesson that was inspired by Thom Borden's blog:  Thom and I took Master's Level of Orff Certification together and I truly enjoy his creative energy.  A while back he posted about this Lois Ehlert book:
Planting a Rainbow.  I loved his idea of using seed packets with rhythms and I made seed packet rhythms from vintage seed packet images I found online.  You can save and print them here:

Yes!  Some of them are upside down; if you print them in color, then all you have to do is fold the pages hot dog style (long end to long end), glue together and laminate; then you will have the seed packet on one side and the seed packet with the rhythm on the other side!  Voila!  Yes, it took me a while to figure that out; first time I made them I didn't do this but I figured if I was putting it "out there" I wanted a better, easier way to make these!  I only used flowers but you could easily make vegetable seed packets or even "core value" seed packs; your imagination/creativity is your only limit!!
I put 8 various seed packs in an envelope made from laminated construction paper so I had enough for partners or small groups.  Each group may end up with a completely different set; that is so much fun.. what an amazingly diverse group of flowers! I also have discovered it is really smart to use a sharpie and draw a small colored circle on each set so you have a "yellow dot" set and a "blue dot" set, etc.  If groups work close to each other then their seed packets won't get mixed with the other groups; each group has their own specific colored dot on all their manipulatives.  This has helped me tremendously when manipulatives are the same. 
If you haven't used the heart charts before from previous posts I've had; here is an example you can save and print:

1.        After reading the story, tell students that we are going to create a garden of flowers in the music room today.  Demonstrate how to create a 4 beat rhythm using rhythm packs.  Ask students to clap the words of the flowers.  Show the seed packet side without the rhythm note first.  Using the 4 beat heart charts  and small manipulatives (flower erasers or small glass gems from Target or Dollar Tree) “write” the rhythm of the words.

2.        Clap and say the rhythm of the flowers using “ta” and “ti-ti”.  Turn the seed packets over, say, “Let’s see if we are right”. 

3.       Divide students into 7 groups; each gets a seed packet, manipulatives, and a heart chart.

4.       Ask them to create as many rhythms as they can, showing the flower side up (not the flower and rhythm), then “write the rhythm they think goes with the words, THEN check their answer by flipping the seed cards over.  There are 8 seed packets but they will only use FOUR each time so there are MANY possibilities of rhythms. 

5.       On another day, ask students to create 8 beat rhythms and use the dry erase 8 beat grids to draw their rhythms; demonstrate how to place 4 cards (flower side up, not flower and rhythm) next to one another, then another 4 under that (just like the 8 beat grids; 4 boxes over 4 boxes) and ask them to write the rhythms THEN check their answer by flipping the seed cards over to show the rhythm.

6.       Extensions:

a.       Use scarves and a piece of music to create a movement piece.

b.       Students create a tune on E and G (sol and mi) with glockenspiels and rhythms