January 18, 2011

Leaping Frog

I was looking at this wonderful blog and she mentioned something about Melody Maps and frogs and using pitch sticks.  This sparked an idea!  I've said it before, "I'm a great copy cat, not super creative".

This is the method I used to teach the kids the 2nd verse of "If I Listen with My Heart".  I found a lily pad clip art to down load for free.  I copied 18 lily pads on bright green cardstock, laminated them & placed a magnet strip on the back of each one.  Why 18?  That is how many notes are used for the first 2 phrases of the song.  I wanted to teach it phrase by phrase.  Note are exactly the same for both except for the last 3 notes of the phrases.  So for the 2nd phrase, I just moved those 3 lily pads to their correct position.

I found a free clip art frog & made 6 of them.  I laminated them & taped them to the end of little dowel sticks I found at Walmart in the craft section.  For the main part of this activity, you only need one frog.  I just made extras to hand to the sunbeams to wave as we sang so that they could be pacified:)

Before Singing Time, I set up the lily pads on the large chalkboard in a Melody Map.  This is just the position of the notes as they are sung.  When the notes go lower, your lily pad is placed lower.  When the note jumps higher, your lily pad should be placed accordingly.  As we sang the notes, I took my frog and had him hop from one lily pad to the next, simulating the pattern of the melody.  We sang really slow so that the kids could see that many of the words ended up being sung on more than one note.  This way they could sing the notes more clearly and pronounce the words correctly.  We did this for the first 2 phrases.  By then, they had the hang of it & I gave them turns to come up and do the frog.  They LOVED it!

For the 3rd phrase, I changed the lily pads by using only 8 of them.  I stacked them vertically and explained another way to conduct the pitches.  Still using the frog, we sang the 3rd phrase as I moved the frog down & up the vertical row of lily pads, showing the interval jumps clearly.  Then I had them take the frog while I just used my hand in front of me.  They had a great time!

Throughout all the teaching of the 2nd verse, I made sure to ask questions about the pictures and get their answers to flow into the song the way it is written.  Most of the time their answers were just off by a word or two than the actual song lyrics.  It keeps them engaged:)

I will be using this method again next week as we review all 3 verses.

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