Target Concept: – notate the rhythm of the words
Grade Level: Grades 2-5
In this activity, the students sort the words into the rhythm that they match. This is a great way to have them begin notation of their own poems and songs. Have them add some words of their own. I think I should have added cough, cold and flu to the list! Try to steer them away from words that use a pickup or anacrusis, as these are more difficult to notate correctly. (eg. Diwali)
When the students have sorted all the words into the correct rhythm column, alone or in groups, they should choose 4 or 8 of the words and create a word chain with them. They could say the word chain, and add rhythm instruments to create sound effects, or they could play the word chain on the instruments. I like it when the students say it once, and then play and say it.
You could create a theme to introduce the word chain compositions: Winter time is snowman time, Winter time is fun. (ss mm ss m, ss mr d) Then, have each student or pair of students perform their word chain as a variation.
If you teach elementary music, get information on the Musicplay K-6 curriculum at www.musicplay.ca.