Monday, June 10, 2013

Kuma San

I'm re-doing some lesson plans for my older kiddos (3rd - 5th) because they are finally on track with their grade level (in accordance with Kodaly levels and my favorite series to use, Spotlight on Music).

With this great little song, "Kuma San," I reformated to fit in as much review and vocabulary as possible.  I plan to pair it with Nabe, Nabe.  My 3rd graders will see it again as they work on their recorder rep later in the year.

It has many opportunities for me to assess what my former students have retained and evaluate the musical knowledge of any little newbies I might get.

Here's the PowerPoint I created for it:

You can try using this song while you jump rope, or have the students hop on one foot while saying the song (on the steady beat).  It is lots of fun and kind of silly but even older kids enjoy it.
The song is great for reviewing basic one beat rhythms.  You can have a beat vs. rhythm exercise by having half the students hop on one leg and the other sit and clap the rhythm.  Then switch.
It never hurts to review the musical structures that organize what the students read.  I equate "measures" to "shelves" and the bar lines are the "borders" of the shelves.  Inside each "shelf" lives a certain number of beats, depending on the time or meter signature.

Take a break and add in some unpitched percussion (great time to define the term, review some basic classroom instruments, and define accompaniment or also discuss timbre).  Try having some students clap the blue wood block part while others snap the orange finger cymbal part:

Here's an opportunity for students to review singing on solfa with hand signs (and you can check out any newbies and see if this is ringing a bell or not).  Students enjoy singing this song while touching knees for "do", waists for "re" and shoulders for "mi" - try playing with the tempo for more fun.
This slide (which contains the second half of the melody) offers you the opportunity to discuss phrasing and form.

The last slide offers an opportunity to add in some pitched percussion, plus sneaks in a few more vocabulary words:

What do you do to help your students review previous musical skills and assess the abilities of new students?


  1. I couldn't find this in your Teachers Pay Teachers store. Is it available?

  2. I didn't put it in my TPT store (although it would've been a free download) because I found this English translation in my Spotlight on Music 3rd Grade Teacher Edition book and didn't want to step on any toes. I just wanted to share the idea of how I use it with everyone :)

    However, you should be able to copy and save the pictures (they are all included in this post) and project/use them that way.

    Hope that helps :)

  3. looking for recording of this song. Do you know where I could find one?