'Tis the season for "The Nutcracker!"
Normally, I do this with all grades, K-5 during the last few weeks of December. This year, however, I'm incorporating "Amahl and the Night Visitors" thanks to Tracy King over at Mrs. King's Music Room. Check out her information here: Amahl and the Night Visitors
Each year, I gain more insight into how to teach "The Nutcracker" and find new, exciting resources to use. As always, I LOVE to use Artie Almeida's book Parachutes and Ribbons and Scarves, Oh My!
It has so many great ideas for incorporating movement into classical movement. Here are some of my students using the stretchy band to show form with "March." They love listening and running to a new spot on their color's turn! I usually do this with 3rd and 4th grades.
We also talk about the "March" in kindergarten. First, we use jingle bells and egg shakers to show the different parts of the "A" section. The "B" section is sitting, with the "C" section laying down. The kids loved that part! Then, we are up moving. Artie's idea for candy cane horses is genius! Here are some kids "watering" their horse on the "C" section. They are so creative - the blue tile is the river!
We also do a mystery song activity from Cori Bloom. These are so fun and interesting to do with students. Many recognize the tune of "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" but can't remember it's title. I love reading their titles and seeing what they come up with for a picture. The big reveal is always fun, too!
Later in the month, we'll be doing some more movement from Artie (ribbons and parachute), as well as different activities from some fellow bloggers and great TPT sellers. Here's what I'm planning to use:
These are both great resources to use with the students. It's fun for them to play along with known music, but also reviews their rhythms, instrument technique and listening skills.
I am obsessed with plastic plate routines! They are a fun, cheap way to add color and beat work to the music classroom. I used a patriotic routine last year and it was a hit! There are several videos online of different Nutcracker plate routines. This is a new one I'm excited to use:
It's from Emily at Emily's Kodaly Music. She has a wonderful blog and just posted some more ideas about using "The Nutcracker."
Let's face it: I'm a coloring junkie! I think it is great to have students color and listen - it doesn't matter what age. Sometimes, just having them sit and forcing them to listen does the opposite and they dislike it. However, when they are creating a picture that relates to the music, they are actively listening and enjoying the experience. Music should be fun and interesting - not a chore. Tracy's listening glyphs are wonderful to do this time of year. It allows the students to have a relaxing, yet informative listening session.
To end, I'm going to use this fun scavenger hunt. I tried to put one together my first year and teaching and it was a disaster. I'm so glad that I found a new one with great graphics.
Hope this gives you some new or different ideas to try this year. Have a great Friday!