Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Anchor Charts and Posters

Oh my goodness, I so hate packing up my stuff at the end of the year.  And I thought I was organized!

Oh well.

While I was cleaning, I took a few snapshots of some posters/anchor charts I've created for my room.  If I can create them, you can create them.  I've elaborated under the pictures in case you'd like to try it yourself!

Category One: Anchor Charts/Posters for Listening Activities, Composers, and Musicians

Here's a poster I based off of a Pin about "while authors write".  It was pretty easy to draw everything and has been a great reference all year long.

This is Maestro, our conducting elephant.  Students of all ages love to use him when we try out a listening piece (it is a great motivator/reward for appropriate listening behavior).  One student holds one end of the poster and another student holds the other.  One student, the "conductor" stands behind Maestro and "conducts" through the whole.  The conductor gets to use a long gray sock, just like the elephant's trunk.

Here's another great reference poster for students to use when listening to a piece.  Sometimes I ask for a specific question to be focused on, but usually I have the students prepare mental answers for at least one purple question and one black.

I've used this poster as a reference for student-created posters (5th grade) during our Jazz unit.  Students are supplied with the materials, a picture of the artist, a short bio, and 10 interesting facts.  They need to create a neat, organize poster that includes at least 5 facts and present it to the class (working in groups of four or less).

Category 2: Rhythm and Melodic Posters/Anchor Charts

Here's a chant I created for K and 1 to help with our steady beat/rhythm lessons.  There is a steady beat side (and we practice pointing to the hearts - I also have heart beat maps for this that they use individually) and stomping to the beat while saying the lyrics.  I add some students to hand drums.
And here is the rhythm side.  Students practice chanting the rhythm on "ta" and "titi" while clapping, then using rhythm sticks.

Here is a reference pocket chart the older students can use (it is up all year round):

I love this music staff poster.  The students can refer to it as they learn the lines and spaces on the music staff.  Even my little ones know the poem:

This is a poster I created for 2nd - 5th grades as we worked on sight-reading songs.  It mirrors the format of most of my powerpoints.  We often discuss things in the "cherry on top" as we go:

Here's a simple poster for use in pentatonic Orff music (especially with Mallet Madness):

This is a poster I use when discussing, well harmony, chords, and accompaniment (it does all three). You can use these in rock songs (or with your own or the students' own piano accompaniments) to discuss the harmonic progression of the song.  Because there isn't "too much" here, 4th or 5th grade students can benefit from a mini-lesson on harmony, even if, like me, you don't delve into chords too much.  Of course students can accompany a favorite song by following you as you point to each chord and playing their respective boomwhackers.  I'm working with more of a specific lesson plan to use these chords with, hopefully including some favorite songs of the kiddos - will post soon!

Category 3: Misc

I did this lesson with my 4th and 5th graders two years ago, my first year at this school (they were going to see some live performances and needed to learn about the instruments - fast).  First, I let them decorate their folder while listening to some instrumental works.  While the works were playing, students could read about them on the screen at their leisure.
In subsequent lessons, the students filled in the middle with facts, notes, pictures, and musings about the instrument families.  I had a worksheet divide into four (one for each family) and the students were asked to write 3 facts, list all instruments in the family, and choose a favorite.  I used sfskids.org as the main source of info, augmented with live examples and videos on youtube.  On the back, the wrote about their favorite instrument out of all the families and reflected on the performances they saw.  Best of all, they can take this with them and have a reference for their middle school band selections.

This is "Brenda" (named after my own mom who always looks awesome when singing) and I used her as a reference during choir rehearsals.  I attached her to my stand and all I had to do was point at a specific part of the poster to give the kiddos a reminder when something needed to be fixed.  I told the kiddos, "This is why I don't teach art" but they seemed to love Brenda and I plan to give her a permanent spot in the room next year.

I can't wait to create more over the summer!


  1. I love "Brenda"! I think I will have to make a poster like this for my classroom over the summer. Thanks for sharing.

  2. These are amazing!! Thank you for sharing!!

  3. What does the top-most comment on the "Brenda" poster say? Something about expression...
    I love this idea--thanks for sharing!

  4. Sorry - it says "excited expression". She certainly is a helpful reference for us!