Sunday, September 1, 2013

Wee Willie Winkie

This song is one of those that just "keeps on giving."  I started using it as a piece to practice using our four voices, but eventually it evolved into teaching everything from adding instrumentation that connects to the text to solfa (mi so la).

In kindergarten, the students first learn the words as a speech piece.  I used to use a poster to illustrate the song, but this year I used PowerPoint instead.  I use the first few slides with the text and pictures to help students understand the lyrics of the song.
 After that, the students add four voices to the lyrics.  We talk about which parts match which voice (for example, "Crying at the locks" - we'd use our loud voice).

Next, we play a favorite little game.  Students love the movement, and they love trying to "sneak" opening their eyes when "Willie" comes to get them.  Usually, I reserve the role of "Willie" for myself, that way the students can't argue "But I had my eyes closed."  Sometimes, I'll give the role to another student, or ask for "helpers" and they'll play with me.  Either way, it is always a favorite.
For the next lesson, the kinder students add instrumentation based on connections to the text.  This prepares them for doing so later with longer stories and books.  It also exposes them to a variety of instruments that we'll use regularly in kinder.

We also discuss the steady beat of the song and keep it in a variety of ways while tracking the "door" icons:

This year, with my current first graders, we will extend the learning to include:
Rhythm Icons

Rhythm Symbols

Organizational Tools
The students will also add pitches to the song (which can be played on boomwhackers since it is in C major):
Melodic Icons - can use with younger students to prepare mi so la

Melodic Icons on the Staff

Melodic Icons with Solfa (off the staff is also included, along with slides for introducing la

correct rhythmic notation on the staff

All together now!
You can download the PowerPoint here.  I've included lots of tips and suggestions for teaching in the "notes" section of most of the slides.  I hope your kiddos enjoy this song too!

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