Let's Sing ItJanet and I both begin teaching the song to our classes a cappella. We model the song and have the children perform hand signals as they sing the choral response to the solo. They experience success because we start slowly and there are only two signs for this part: sol and mi.
Through the use of a document camera, we project the music on the screen for the children to follow. We track the music as the children sing, to ensure that children are focused on the right spot. As students follow along, they gain skills in reading music notation. They begin to identify melodic direction, and they notice different types of notes and the locations of those notes (line vs space, step vs. skip, high vs low, etc.).
If you need the melody of this song, Beth has it posted on her blog at Beth's Music Notes.
Let's Move ItAfter learning the song, we listen to the stereo vocal track on the 2nd grade Silver Burdett Making Music CD (1:36). The students absolutely LOVE it! (This is an African American singing game that is found in other textbook series, as well.) We have them sit while they listen at first, so they can focus on the music. We encourage students to move while seated, because it is impossible to sit still while listening and it prepares them for the next step. During the interlude, we allow them to stand up and finish the song while improvising their own movements in place.
We do not spend an entire class period learning or singing the song. Rather, we spend shorter increments of time on several occasions, so that the song is cemented in the children's minds before beginning our next activity, which is a collaborative project.
Let's Create ItChildren work in groups of 4 (or 3-5) and create their own lyrics for the part of the song that says, "Let's rope it" (or swim, duck, or twist). Each child is responsible for creating one command. (For groups with fewer students, the group can fill in the remaining blanks. If a group has more than 4, two students can be partners to fill in a box.)
We discuss words that would work well and words that would not work well prior to moving into groups. We also talk about the importance of picking a word that gives a clear direction of a movement to do. "Make it" is not as specific as "Build it," and classmates may be confused about what to do. Therefore, they should choose more descriptive words for their lines of the song.
Before beginning the project, we give the following guidelines:
- Each student is responsible for his/her box on the form.
- The group should discuss each member's choice, but peers should be supportive. If the word is an appropriate choice, then they use it. If it does not work for some reason (i.e. not an action verb), the students must respectfully explain why and let the child pick a new word.
- The group shares one pencil, and each child writes his/her own response. This maximizes group participation, rather than one child taking over the project.
- It is a cooperative project, so students should be kind and work well together.
Let's Play ItFrom singing, moving, and creating lyrics, we will soon transition to playing instruments. After being told that sol is a G, students will explore the barred instrument to find mi. It may help to point to hand signals that are posted in order to demonstrate that mi is two steps down from sol.
Singing, moving, creating, and playing. "Pizza, Pizza, Daddy-o" has it all. 2nd grade is having a ball! Can you tell that I'm having a blast, too? :)