Sunday, May 12, 2013


This song is fun and easy to sing in both Spanish and English.  My 2nd graders are working on solidifying our work with "Re" and this is also a great song to practice that concept.  It is also an easy way for students to use common action verbs in both languages (and to discuss what action verbs are).

To begin, get students thinking about ways they can move.  This can be as simple as brainstorming a list and then having the students move to words on the list for 8 beats (for example, run in place for eight beats).  Students can take turns writing words on the board, leading the class in creating the motions, or playing the eight steady beats on rhythm instruments.  If you have a bilingual class or you also intend for your students to sing the song in Spanish, have them brainstorm Spanish action verbs and then write the English translation next to them.

Student can then learn the notation of the song using the Matarile powerpoint:

This slide can be used a pitch ladder and can be used in many ways:
1. Sing a pattern while pointing to the butterflies - students echo the pattern
2. Point to the butterflies (in a short pattern) and have students sing the pattern back to you
3. Play a pattern on an instrument and have students sing the pattern back to you (one student can go and point to the butterflies)
4. Have students create patterns using the butterflies for their classmates to sing

Note: I used butterflies because they reminded me of the spanish word for butterflies, "mariposa" which also starts with "m".  "Matarile" is a non-sense name in Spanish, so I like to say that Matarile is a mariposa.
I created the PowerPoint in English (although there is a spanish translation slide - see below) because the actual rhythm that would match with "quiere us" of "que quiere usted" would be tika-ti (two sixteenths and an eighth) which my 2nd graders haven't learned yet.
I like to add the steady beat while also adding the claves.  If you have a butterfly net (which I do - thanks to the Target $1 bin), you can have the students go up to the screen and "catch" each butterfly by pointing to them while the class chants the words.  Then, we organize the music:
Students can also use the butterfly net as a pointer and go point to each symbol.

Next is the rhythm preparation slide.  On the pair of butterflies, the students say, "but-ter" and on the single butterfly, they say, "fly".  Then, they track the pictures while saying the correct words.
Students love to predict which rhythms will appear based upon the pictures above.  Usually, I'll have them make the predictions in their head, then "check their work" when I reveal the next slide.  They say, "Yes!  That's exactly what I thought I would see!"
Students can then chant the rhythm then the correct text.  I like to play the claves on the steady beat while they play the rhythm on rhythm sticks.  We can discuss the difference in timbre between two similar-looking instruments.  I then tell the students to match the claves with their feet while their hands match the rhythm sticks (select a few students to keep playing).  This is a mini "beat vs. rhythm" reinforcement opportunity.

Afterward, I like to pass out my scarves to the students.  I ask them to "float" their scarves through the air and sing on a soft "loo".  We talk about the melodic direction and how our voices can follow the scarves up and down.  I select students to come to the front and lead us with their scarf - we follow what they do while singing.  Sometimes the students like to "float" all over the room while singing and moving their scarf.  However, if their scarf floats too high or too low, I think this year I'll snatch it with my butterfly net.

Then, students can learn the correct solfa of the song:

Eventually leading up to the full notation:

Then, incorporate the motions that students brainstormed earlier to complete the movement activity:


  1. Hi Emily:

    These look great! I was wondering what kind of software you use to develop all of this stuff. Is it all done with smart notebook?



  2. I wish! I use PowerPoint, Word, and Adobe PDF. :)