Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Ducklings

Here's a file, The Ducklings, which I created to go along with many Easter/Springtime Kinder activities below.  It reviews basic rhythms but also discusses melodic direction.  I love the words!  In the notes section, I put many teaching instructions.

Here's the lyrics of the song (be careful if you choose to act them out, awkward!):
Here's the steady-beat slide.
And the rhythm preparation slide ("duckling", "duck" and mouth moves to "plop")
And the actual rhythm slides (this slide includes instructions for instrumentation)
Here's a melodic practice slide (sing it on "quack")
And the first part of the actual melody (instructions are included):
Even in kindergarten, I expect the students to learn vocabulary, such as measure or pitch.  They use these words so often that they become comfortable with them.  I often incorporate them into our warm-up.

Here's a slide so students can accompany the song on Boomwhackers (great for melodic direction):

Students can cut out these cards and use them to create their own melodies.  They can be glued on large blue construction paper to be used as a bulletin board or to decorate the fridge at home.
For the week before or after (whenever I get to it/don't have testing to worry about)  I like to create Easter egg shakers with the kindergartners.  After trying this many times, here's the way that works the best (besides just making them yourself and giving them to the students, haha).

This picture is from the blog:

I give each student an empty egg which I've labeled with their name ahead of time with a Sharpie.  We discuss the top and bottom and how to open and close the egg.  Then, I demonstrate pouring rice (I put the rice in small solo bathroom cups - just enough to fill up the bottom of the cup) by squeezing the cup to make a spout and pouring it into the bottom (larger part) of the egg.  I give each student a cup, but instruct them not to pour it until we are ready.  Then, we pour the rice together and the students close the egg.  They place the egg in the cup and wait for me to call their name.  When I call the student's name, I collect their cup and place hot glue on the egg where the two piece meet.  I use a low-heat glue gun and not very much glue, so it dries quickly and I can hand it back to the students without them getting burned (plus I instruct them to hold it between their thumb and pointer/middle fingers (almost like making an "ok" sign).  I instruct the students that they only get one egg, and that I will take their egg if I see them playing it/playing with it any way other then what I've instructed.  I literally have maybe one or two eggs that are either broken or confiscated each year - most students, even in kinder, do really well with this process.  I can also collect the eggs and put them in a bag/basket (that way, their teacher can distribute them back to the students to take home later).

Since the students have to wait a while for me to glue everyone's, I let them watch a favorite song, "Los Pollitos" (The Little Chickens) on Youtube and play along with their egg-shaker (yes it gets loud, but they are having a lot of fun).

Here's the video:

This year, I'm thinking about extending this sort of, "fowl" little unit (haha) with another favorite, "Little White Duck".  I have wooden pieces (from Hobby Lobby) that the students use to act out each character as we sing.  Recently, I discovered Cherie Herring's Blog, which has a link to downloading a SMARTboard activity for the song.

There's also the classic Disney Silly Symphony, "The Ugly Duckling" - great moral

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