Little Red Hen
I have a pretty diverse school with students from all over the world. Doing Easter songs and activities can isolate some of my students, so instead, I focus on spring! A classroom favorite this week was the telling of the story, The Little Red Hen. I use Kaye Umansky's version from The Three Singing Pigs because it's interactive and rhythmical. I use my own Little Red Hen puppet to tell the story. This week, my hen laid eggs all over the room and the students had to collect them. Each egg had a rhythm pattern in it. My first graders practiced reading the patterns themselves, then to a friend. Then they chose one pattern to read to me as an exit slip. (I know, brilliant, eh?)
Two weeks ago, our school had the privilege of hosting the Aeolus String Quartet. They performed for us, shared their interactive website with us and even wrote and performed stories for us. It was truly a wonderful experience for my students. To follow up, we reviewed the instruments in the string family and watched short YouTube clips of each string instrument playing. The hands-down student favorite was The Piano Guys "Cello Wars." If you haven't seen this clip - watch it now! (Disclaimer: Make sure your boys know Lightsaber Bows are not included with the purchase of a cello.)
It was a crazy, crazy week and there was a great need for my students to move. Alot. We ended each class with a game of Four Corners. Given that we just had the string quartet visit, it seemed like the perfect time to play a String Family Four Corners game. My students did great remembering the violin, cello and bass, but were struggling with the viola. In each corner of the room, I had a picture of each string instrument: violin, viola, cello, and bass. One child sat in the middle of the room with eyes closed as all the other children chose a corner. The child in the middle called out a string instrument and any child in that corner was out. All the students had a blast and by the end of class everyone knew the viola!