Wednesday, February 12, 2014

We Are Dancing in the Forest



In my previous post, I linked a PDF file from the Sioux Valley Orff Chapter that provided ideas for Locomotor and Non-Locomotor movement.  The file itself is a good read with excellent ideas.  One of them is the "Playing in the Forest" song/game.  Here it is:

I tried this game out today, but of course, I had to tweak it.  I wanted to incorporate the Orff instruments, so I thought the wolf's "den" could be the instruments.  I set out one each of the bass, alto/tenor, and soprano xylophones and the alto/tenor and soprano metallophones. So, five instruments total.  Yesterday, I sat at the bass xylophone and played C and G quarter notes (as notated above, only I left out the rests and just alternated C and G) while I sang the song.  If are having a hard time reading the music, I also put it in Finale:

I showed the kids a PowerPoint with just the lyrics:



We did the typical "listen and repeat" while I played the bass xylophone.  Just in case this is new to you (as it is to me). . . . I sing the first line, kids repeat.  Continue with lines 2-4.  Then I sing the first two lines, kids repeat, I sing the last two lines, kids repeat.  Then we sing the whole thing together.  The song was pretty intuitive except EVERY one of my four classes of Kindergarten and 1st Grades got caught up on "Who knows what will happen to us".  I'm not sure why.  Maybe it's just too much of a mouthful.

After we all learned the song, I had students take turns coming and playing with me.  That was my first day.

Day Two was today.  It took a few tries, but this is what the game ended up looking like:

I sit at the bass and play/sing the song with a kid on each of the instruments and a "wolf" next to me. The rest of the students are in the middle of the classroom waiting for my instructions.  We ended up telling a story with this game, so it started with us walking in the woods.  The kids sing "We are walking in the forest. . . " while the instruments play.  Instead of having it be a freeze game, I told my kids that the "wolf" is looking for the BEST walker. This is how it is in the wild when a wolf looks for its prey, they look for the best animal to eat.  Only this is a nice wolf, so instead of eating you, our wolf will be letting you play the instruments. "Best" means someone who is safe and maybe makes the best faces or whatever, but most importantly, FREEZES when the music stops.  Of course they pick their best friends, they always do, but reminding the class of what the wolf should be looking for helps everyone stay focused. The best walker then goes to one of the instruments and the person who leaves the instrument is now the new wolf.

The narrative of the game took us into a hollow log that we slithered through. "We are slithering in the forest. . . " Once we got out, we stretched. "We are stretching in the forest. . ."  Then we came upon a pond so we swam. "We are swimming in the forest. . ." When we got out of the pond, we shook to get the water off. "We are shaking in the forest. . ." When we got out of the pond, we realized we were at the top of cliff, so we side stepped at the edge of the cliff until we reached a safer spot "We are side stepping in the forest. . .", then we rolled down the gentle slope. "We are side rolling in the forest. . ."  When we got up we were dizzy, so we spun around. "We are spinning in the forest. . ."  All of a sudden, we thought we spotted the wolf so we ran (but in music class we baby run because Mrs. Huffman is still freaked out about kids knocking into each other and the instruments). "We are running in the forest. . ."  Once we got away we felt really good about ourselves for escaping so we did a silly walk.  "We are silly walking in the forest. . ."

The narrative could go on and on tip-toeing by a bear, skating on an underground frozen pond, belly crawling under brush.  The possibilities are endless.  Some of the movements, like swimming and stretching, were Locomotor movements paired with Non-Locomotor Movements. I made sure and clarified that with the kids.

I really liked this game.  Kudos to Orff people for putting this stuff out.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Orff Movement



Okay, well, I don't know if you can tell, but this is not my classroom and these are not my kids and this is not me.  I snatched this picture from Google Images because it was the closest I could find to what my classroom looked like today.  I pulled my lesson from what I have gleaned over the years from the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.  If you don't know much or anything at all about the Orff movement, check out this site and you may get a better understanding.  I posted this picture because it resembled what my classroom looked like today, and with 30 some kids moving around my room, I didn't have the foresight to grab my phone and take pictures this time.  I got a bee in my bonnet today to talk about Locomotor and Non-Locomotor movement with Primary today and it went GREAT!  Here is what I did.  

I got specific information about movement from the this PDF file.

First, I had the kids sit criss-cross applesauce scattered around my room and I told them how Locomotor movement meant moving from place to place and Non-Locomotor meant staying in one place.  I showed them this quick slide I put together on Promethean Planet*:



Thanks to the nature of the Promethean board, we were able to slide the different movements under the correct category. (We stayed unsure where to put hop and jump, since you can do both without travelling.) Once both lists were complete, I had the kids listen to "The Skater's Waltz" from the curriculum.  For the "A" section, we did Non-Locomotor movements.  For the "B" section, we did Locomotor movements.
Afterwards, I had the kids sit back down and share with the class what Non-Locomotor movements they used and then asked them what Locomotor movements they used.  Those kids love to share!  Then we each got a bean bag and did "The Bean Bag Boogie" song from Greg and Steve.  They have done this song before, but this time, we decided to do Non-Locomotor movement during the verses and Locomotor movement during the refrain.

Next week, we will try the wolf activity suggested in the a fore mentioned PDF file. It looks too fun.  

*If you would like me to email this Active Inspire file to you, let me know in the comments section.