Thursday, April 14, 2016

"Who I Am" with a stretchy band!


If you're like me, right now you're stuck somewhere between programs, end of the year lessons and testing time. Testing stinks! The kids are drained, the building is quiet and teachers are frazzled. I thought I would share a fun, positive lesson that my students love!

The song "Who I Am" by will.i.am was shown to me by our guidance counselor. She used it as a flash mob for 5th graders before Christmas break. I stumbled upon it again and knew I had to bring this awesome song to all of my students! It's short (1 minute, 51 seconds or so) and has the message of being proud of who you are and reaching for your dreams. During testing time, this is what students need to hear! Many will try their best, but some kids struggle with not feeling smart enough, getting done in time, etc. I also think it's nice to hear positive things from someone other than your regular classroom teacher or principal. 

Before I go over it, this lesson can be as short or long as you want - it's up to you! The stretchy band part is at the end, but definitely fun for all ages. With all of the classes, we watch the video first from Sesame Street.

After this, I have students pair and share things that make them feel good. I also have each student say something positive about their partner. Many times, I learn new things about my students because their classmates point out things that I don't normally get to see. From here, the lesson changes depending on what grade level I'm working with.


Primary
  • Review steady beat
  • Listen once more, this time keeping the beat on our laps.
  • Bring out the beat buddies - ask the students to keep the beat with their buddy.
  • Ask a student leader or two to choose where we keep the beat and stand in front of the group (assessment!!!!)
  • Introduce the stretchy band!
  • Explain to the students that we will keeping the steady beat with our stretchy band this time.
  • Demonstrate and then add the students.
  • Repeat several times - they love putting the stretchy band away!
  • Finish with a writing response (optional) - our district is big on writing, so we write a lot in class. Usually, I have them journal about what they learned, the objective for the day or the message of the music with this lesson.

Intermediate
  • Listen and watch the video.
  • Ask the question - which parts were the same; which parts were different?
  • Analyze the song with A & B cards on the board.
  • Introduce the words "intro" "verse" & "chorus" in place of the A & B
  • Sing a familiar song for them to identify and use the vocabulary (I use Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and ask what is missing i.e. the intro)
  • Introduce the stretchy band!
  • Demonstrate and then add the students.
  • Repeat several times - they love putting the stretchy band away!
  • Come back together and ask the students to pair and share about which movements represented the intro, verses and chorus.
  • Finish with a writing response (optional) - our district is big on writing, so we write a lot in class. Usually, I have them journal about what they learned, the objective for the day or the message of the music with this lesson.
  • From here, you can dive into a unit or several lessons about types of form, learn and sing more positive songs or have the students create their own dance moves/body percussion/actions to fit the form of the song. 




So, you mentioned this stretchy band thing. Huh?

A stretchy band is a great movement tool for kids, adults and those with disabilities or injuries. You can purchase them at West Music or Bear Paw Creek. I made one from loom pieces in a previous blog post. It's fun to bring out during the year, kind of like "parachute day" in P.E. The movements to the music are demonstrated in the video below and written down for you. Feel free to adjust to fit your needs. If bouncing the beat is hard, you can have the students move left and right with the band. My kids just need to bounce! Haha! My 4th graders were nice enough to come in at an extra time during the day to demonstrate!


video




Movement Instructions:
  1. Bounce beat in the air at waist.
  2. Stretch/shake during drum solo.
  3. Hold up high, bounce beat, flex; bend down low, bounce beat, flex
  4. Put in and out on the qualities.
  5. Stretch/shake during drum solo.
  6. Hold up high, bounce beat, flex; bend down low, bounce beat, flex
  7. Put in and out on the qualities.
  8. Stretch/shake during drum solo.
  9. Hold up high, bounce beat, flex; bend down low, bounce beat, flex
  10. Take 3 steps back; count to 3 and release!



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