Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Go Pack Go!

It is that time of year... Football season! Though, I myself am not a particularly devoted football fan, I spent most of my life in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This means that I probably bleed green and gold whether I would like to or not. This weekend I actually went to the Packers vs. Saints game, which made me even more excited about my latest composition project. I can't take all the credit for it, I got the original idea from a book a retired music teacher gave me. It allows students the opportunity to take chants they would hear at a football game and turn them into rhythm ostinatos! This was perfect since my grade 3-5 classes have been working on rhythms and ostinatos! :)

I broke this project into just two 30 minute music classes (which in my opinion is a rather quick composition project compared to some others I have done). The first day is a brainstorming day. I pair the students into groups of about 3 or 4 students. These groups then brainstorm and come up with at least 10 chants they have heard or would cheer at a sporting event. (Note: I said sporting event to reach some of my students who do not like football, but may enjoy other sports)
Ostinato Cheer Composition
Ostinato Cheer Composition

The second day was devoted to writing the rhythms that go with the chants. We talked first as a class about how to figure out the rhythms. We talk about where the beat lands and how sometimes we stress different parts of a word or phrase. I give them a couple examples of my own (I chose non-sports related things so they weren't just using my examples). The groups then worked on their chants. I had the 3rd graders have 3 final cheers, 4th graders 4 cheers, and 5th graders 5 cheers. I was really impressed with some of the cheers that they created and how well they put the rhythms together. The ones that had a little bit more difficulty, or just added quarters for all of their chants, were easy to help. I just read through their chants as written and they told me if it was right or not. If it wasn't we figured out how to fix the problem together.

I found that just like with many other group activities you have those groups that get done in 10 minutes and then the other groups that work the entire 20 minutes. For this situation you should probably have some extra game or work for the groups that are done quickly. This stops students from wandering around the room or just chatting about nothing in particular.

For my quick finishing groups, I created a simple game to work on for the remainder of time. Each group got a baggy with 3 sets of music letters and 3 sets of treble clef staff notes to match. One teammate would create a word using the music letters (i.e. DAD) and then the other group members would work to match up the treble clef staff notes. This way they were working on treble clef note reading without getting bored and distracting their teammates.
Note Reading
Treble Clef Notes
Writing and reading music

After the compositions were finished I brought students outside to share their chants with the class. I chose to go outside, not because it is particularly a loud process (though it can be) but because the snow will soon be coming here in Wisconsin and my students love being outside. That and I am really working to reach all of the multiple intelligence's in my classroom this year and one that I am particularly weak on is the nature intelligence. You will probably see more nature based lessons in the coming week as I prepare to bring my little ones outside to explore the music of the fall!
Ostinato Performance
Ostinato Chant Performance
Ostinato Chant Performance
Ostinato Chant Performance

If you are interested in this project you can get the document I created --->HERE<---

You can also use --->my rubric<--- that I created for grading the compositions.

Happy composing!

No comments :

Post a Comment