Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hop, hop, hop...

Spring is here and the weather in Arizona is gorgeous! For those of you that can use holiday-oriented song material in your schools, I thought you might enjoy this song and related activities for your classroom.

Despite this song having the descending sfmrd pattern, the lyrics are obviously most appropriate for younger grades. I use this song with kindergarteners for melodic contour (the first 2 and last 2 measures of the song) and for beat and rhythm with both movement and with icons. In first grade the song can be used for ta, ti-ti, rest rhythms.

To help the students learn the song, I created a few different activities. Students can play a hide and seek game using those brightly colored plastic Easter eggs that can be found at the dollar store on the cheap. Have all students hide their eyes and sing the song (the teacher can sing the first several times until the kids learn the song), and the teacher hides 4 or 5 eggs in the room. When the song is over, have all students open their eyes and search the room for the hidden eggs. The students who find the hidden eggs then get to hide the eggs before the next round of the game. I know this seems like an amazingly simple game, but the kids really love finding hiding places for the eggs.

On another day, have students hop on the beat, but on the rests they wiggle their bunny ears (fingers at head) to show where the rests are. You can also have them practice hopping the rhythm of the words rather than the beat if you would like. You can use the bunny and egg icons to show the rhythm of the song. (ta=single bunny, ti-ti=double bunnies, rest=egg) Go to my meyersmusic website linked at the right to download these icons.

I often pair this song at a later time with first grades with color word chains. Give partners of small groups of students Easter eggs and tell them they must decide the color of eggs the Easter bunny will leave, but that they can only choose 4 colors. Have them put the eggs on the floor in a line in the order they want the words to appear. Have the class sing the song and then have 3 or 4 groups say and clap their color word chain. Have each group figure out what the rhythm of their words would be. For example, red, yellow, purple, blue would be ta, ti-ti,  ti-ti, ta. Pick a color word chain to use as an ostinato against the song.

If older students learned this song when they were younger and you have had them in music for several years, you can bring this song back for fa ascending and descending in 4th and 5th grade. Then you can extend the color word chain activity into a rondo activity would be good for the older students.

Happy Easter, everyone! Now hand me my chocolate bunny. Yum!


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