Saturday, November 19, 2011

Creative Movement Lesson Plan

This lesson plan is one that I use all the time in class. It can be adapted for younger and older children. Making the instruments is GREAT for a rainy day project and can be done with items found around the house. Just be careful of using small, inedible items for younger children.

So why teach children about tempo or anything else related to music? One, it's fun. If you want children to learn something, set it to music. Doesn't have to be fancy, you don't have to have an amazing singing voice or any other musical talent (although it helps!)  in order to make learning fun for smaller children. In all seriousness, music helps children to create neural connections in their brains and actively participating in the creation of music helps to build the strongest connections. Research has shown that children who are actively involved in music are able to focus better, do better in math and reading, and helps children to learn control of their bodies. Moving along with the TEMPO helps children to explore how their bodies move, what muscles control certain areas, and teach children how to control those areas.

Age Range:  4-5 year olds

Subject:  Creative Music

Concept:  Children will become aware of the changes in tempo in music and songs.

Topic:  Tempo

1.     Children will reproduce changes in tempo.
2.     Children will demonstrate awareness of changes in tempo.
3.     Children will identify the words “fast” and “slow”.
4.     Children will label body parts.

·        Tape, CD, or DVD player
·        Various types of music depicting various degrees of tempo
·        Signs that say “FAST” and “SLOW”
·        Instruments (tambourines) made by the students
o      Paper plates
o      Dry Beans, Rice, Jelly Beans, Macaroni or any other hard, edible food to place inside sealed paper plates.
o      Paint
o      Hot glue (teacher use only) or heavier duty glue
o      Streamer/Crepe paper

Teacher Preparation:
·        Have students make instruments in advance, preferably the day before or earlier in the morning.
1.     Allow children to paint two paper plates however they choose. Set aside to dry.
2.     Once plates are dry, have children choose which edible food item they would like to place in their instrument-to-be.  Allow them to scoop and pour item onto one of their plates.
3.     If using heavier duty, child safe glue, allow children to place glue around paper plate edges and then place the second plate on top.  (If using hot glue, move child’s instrument to a safe area where you are able to glue the pieces together)
4.     Sections of streamer can be glued to edges to add extra flair and movement to the “tambourine”.
·        Select types of music with varying degrees of tempo

1.     Have children stand in a large, open area in the classroom or outside if possible.
2.     Explain to children that we will be learning about the speed, or tempo, of music.
3.     Show children card that says “FAST” and explain that when this card is shown, to dance or move their instrument fast.
4.     Show children card that says “SLOW” and explain that when this card is shown, dance or move their instrument slow.
5.     Begin to play music and encourage children to dance how they see fit. Depending on the tempo of the music, hold up the appropriately labeled card.
6.     For the next song, play a song with a contrasting tempo to fully demonstrate the difference.
7.     Help children to understand by moving and clapping your hands in time with the tempo. Encourage children to move along with you.
8.     Help children to name the body parts they move.

Developmental Objectives: This activity will target gross-motor, fine motor, cognitive, and social development. It will target gross-motor by allowing children to use their muscles to move and dance. It targets fine motor by allowing children to use their hands to paint, pour, and glue. It targets cognitive by having children use the sense of hearing to determine the change in tempo. Also by having children to recognize written words. It targets social by encouraging children to interact with classmates.

Learning Theory(ies): Vygotsky’s Theory of Development; children learn best when they are actively engaged in the learning process. Learning and development occur when children interact with their environment and the people around them.

Evaluation:  Were children able to notices changes in tempo?  Could they actively interpret the changes they heard?  Were children able to come up with their own way to use tempo to make music?

Follow-up:  Have children come up with their own song or dance.  Encourage children to use his or her instrument to show the tempo on his/her song. The homemade instruments can be placed in dramatic play or the music center for use during the week. 

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