Carnival of the Animals

Who says lesson plans have to be filed away on a school server or printed out for a folder? I need to share some plans and so have decided to try blogging them. Here goes!

6 week unit of work for year 2.

Carnival of the Animals.

In this unit the children will be engaged in active listening which will involve  physical movement to help understand musical concepts including pulse, tempo and pitch movement.

We will

  • experience the different feeling of music in 3/4 and 4/4
  • identify the difference between smooth legato and jumpy staccato aspects
  • explore difference between sounds mimicking and suggesting animals
  • experiment with timbre
  • identify direction of pitch movements
  • create our own “Carnival of the Mini Beasts” and compose music to match characteristics of creatures children have been studying in class.

Week 1

March of the Lions

Children to listen to music as they enter the room. Copy teachers actions on first beat. Teacher to clap, stamp etc . During the “roaring sections” teacher to draw circles in the air.  introduce concept of Carnival of Animals. Kids to discuss characteristics of music & use to guess animal. Discuss instrument heard and get kids to demonstrate how the roar is made

Listen again to music. Children to march around circle on first beat of the bar as lions during the marching sections but to stand still and make circles during roaring sections.

Half of class take basketballs to bounce on first beat and other half take ribbon batons to make circles during roars. Switch over.

Week 2

The Elephant

Music playing as children enter the room. Teacher to start  pat – clap – clap pattern children to join in. Teacher to leave out every other pat.

Children to sit on the floor in pairs and roll the ball from one to the other to fit in with the pulse. This may be quite ambitious for some children but see if they can control the ball and work out the energy to make the ball roll for 3 beats before partner stops.

Children to stand and sway moving weight from one foot to the other in time with the music. When this is established move around the room in time with the music with a sideways motion.

Listen to the representation of elephant voice. Copy the melody with voice. Transfer onto kazoo.

Week 3

Comparing The Aquarium to The Kangaroo

Play the first 30 secs of both pieces to class. Get them to compare the movement of the music. They can either draw this on whiteboards or use their hands to represent.

Pass a glockenspiel around the circle. Children can either play as kangaroo or as aquarium. Rest of class to guess. Once children are clear they can begin to move around room in response to the style child is playing in ie they can jump if the music is kangaroo style of more fluidly for aquarium.

Go back to recordings and challenge children to jump in time with the kangaroo music. Use scarves and ribbons to move to aquarium. i also like to blow bubbles whilst aquarium music is playing!

Week 4

Comparing the aviary to the swan

Play both pieces of music to class. Ask half the class to brainstorm what they can hear for one of the pieces. Teacher can prompt with questions i.e. what instruments can you hear, how did it make you feel, is it one animal or more, etc look out for children recognising legato and staccato differences from wk 3

Use ribbons to match aviary music. Identify when pitch swoops up and down and match with actions.

During swan music children work in partners. One child is puppet swan and is and gently steered by their partner.

Week 5 & 6

The children have been studying mini beasts in class.  Working in friendship groups each group to choose a different minibeast. Groups to identify 2 characteristics  that this creature has. Choose up to 2 instruments to represent this creature. Make a graphic score to plan and guide their composition. Practise. Teacher to record. Children to listen and evaluate. Teacher to look out for some of the concepts that the children have explored physically in this unit. Assessment points will include:

  • Did the children organise their music in groups of 3 or 4 beats to match their animal’s movement?
  • Could they explain why they chose the instruments they did?
  • Did their compositions tempo and pitch movement match the animal?
  • was their an attempt to make compositions legato or staccato?

NB: These questions are not an attempt to ensure that all children must use all these features to have produced a “good” piece of music”. Rather it is a guide for the teacher to look out for to see if the teacher can find evidence of the children being influenced by the concepts introduced in this unit of work

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