Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Owl and the Wind

It is no secret.  I love owls.  It really is a problem - but this little poem - well - I can't wait to incorporate it into my lessons.

I just created this, so we'll see how it goes (I'm thinking late September, early October with grades K-2).  We'll be able to discuss weather changes and what types of "signs" we see to know that the season has changed.  We can also discuss plenty or rhyming words.  You can also sneak in things like tempo (the leaves swirl quickly - they have a fast tempo) and dynamics (the wind howled loudly - it was forte). After enough experiences with these words, I can easily ask a 5 year old, "What was the dynamic level of that song?" and they can respond correctly.

Note: I'm really into using movement to help students understand text, lyrics, and vocabulary words.  We move all the time, even in 5th grade.  Having a movement helps students understand (especially with ELL's) what they are learning and can help them recall information.  Lots of teachers at my school do the same thing in ELA lessons with their students.  Most of the time, I let the students create the movement (with some guidelines).  For this, since I've already created the movement and the instrumentation we'll use, I'll ask the students to explain why they think I moved that way or why I added that specific instrument.  They enjoy figuring this out and following my creative thought process will help them with their own compositions later.

Here's the poem:
I've created a slide, movement, and instrumentation activity for each little phrase:

Movement: Students are standing, put hands out to sides and raise about mid-way (like wings).  Flap wings for “a little owl” then bend down (pretend to sit) on “sat on a branch”.
Instrumentation: Wood block (like the wood of the tree), plays, “Little owl, Little owl” (titi-ta, titi-ta)
Movement: Students hug themselves and shiver.
Instrumentation: Metallophones do a tremolo (any pitch is fine – I suggest setting up in c pentatonic).
  Movements: Students twirl, with hands rising from low to high, either in place or safely around the room.
Glockespeils: Glissandos up and down.
Movement: Students extend their arms out above their heads like the branches of the tree and sway back and forth.
Instrumentation: Either temple blocks or agogo bells (something with two distinct sounds) play “sway-ing-branch-es” (ta (higher pitch), ta (lower pitch), ta (higher pitch), ta (lower pitch))
Movement: Students cup hands around mouth as if “howling.”
Vocalization: All students sing “ooooh”, moving their voices up and down
Movement: Students put their hands up by their chests (like a begging puppy or the arms of a T-Rex) and scurry about the room.
Instrumentation: Rhythm sticks play “hur-ry, hur-ry, scur-ry, scur-ry” (titi, titi, titi, titi).
 Movement: Students look upward.
Instrumentation: Metallophones and glocks glissando up.
  Movement: Students spread out fingers in front of them and mimic snow falling.
Instrumentation: Jingle bells lightly shake.

I'll be updating my "Fall into Music" set with this and at least two other files this weekend.  Check it out ;)


  1. Emily,

    I love this! Do you have it for purchase?

  2. I do have it included in my "Fall into Music" set which is in my TPT store. However, I included all the slides here on this post so that everyone could use this for free. You can click on the pictures, right click to save, and then paste them into PowerPoint. I hope that helps!