Last year, after I discovered Pinterest, I made a floor staff from a white shower curtain. I love it! We use it all the time for various things.
Here's a snap-shot from today. My students were working on Mi-So-La. We use "Music Street" when learning about solfa. Here's a few questions I ask them:
1. Why do Mi and So have the same color door and roof? (They are copycats.)
2. What do you mean by copycats? (They both live on lines)
3. What if I move So to a space? (Mi will move to the space below it)
4. Why is La's roof and door brown? (It does not copycat Mi and So)
5. How do you know it doesn't copycat them? (It is living on a space while Mi and So are on lines)
6. What if I move So to a space? (La will live on the line above it)
7. What's up with that for sale sign? (There is a pitch in between So and Mi, but we aren't ready to learn it just yet)
8. Who will that For Sale pitch copycat when we learn it? (La)
9. Which pith is lowest? (Mi)
10. Which is highest? (La)
11. Which pitch that we are using right now, is in the middle? (So)
12. We can use these pitches to create...(melodies)
Then, we talk about melodic movement:
1. Repeats: La to La, So to So, Mi to Mi
2. Steps: So to La, La to So
3. Skips: Mi to So, So to Mi
4. Leaps: Mi to La La to Mi
We also discuss the terms "ascending" and "descending". We change keys. Each movement we figure out, we also sing with handsigns many times.
Using the students as "pitch/house" holders, I move one of the pitches around the staff and the students figure out where the others live. For the first few tries we use the "For Sale" sign, then we don't.
I'll also put Mi on say, line one, the. Ask, "Who can show me an ascending skip?" And a student will place Sol on line 2.
We do this exercise or part of it, for weeks during our warm-up time. Not only are students moving, displaying their knowledge, and using advanced vocabulary, most of them are able to effectively transition this knowledge to real music on the staff.