The funny thing about Thanksgiving is that I don’t even eat Turkey! But, I do like turkey songs and activities-especially for the Kinders and First Graders. Watching them pretend to be turkeys during some of the activities is worth all the gobbling. Playing the steady beat in Kindergarten and developing rhythm, melody, improvisation and composition skills in grades K-6 provides lot’s of opportunities for integrating Native American, Turkey, and Thanksgiving resources into my music class lessons. It’s also the perfect time to bring out all the instruments and have the students practice playing too. To me, it’s easy to teach the standards through the month of November because there’s so many different, songs, activities and games that will help my students. And, that’s how I get students to gobble up the beat.
Sometimes I will use one song across grade levels. I’ll use the song to teach and have my students learn different skills.When I’m traveling to different schools, it helps me because then I can use the same visuals for all the grades and focus on the different concepts. One song I’ve used this way is “Five Fat Turkeys”. I’ve adapted this song for lessons K-6 by using the song as a springboard to teach different concepts to each grade level. Here’s a break down of how I use this song K-6. If you’d like a copy of this Resource, just sign up for the newsletter and you’ll have access to the FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY. Here’s an idea of how I use the lesson for different grade levels.
Kinder: Steady Beat, Creative Movement
First Grade: Rhythm and Beat, Creative Movement
Second Grade: Notating half notes, Melody, Bass and Rhythmic Ostinato, Creative Movement
Third Grade: Melody, Bass and Rhythmic Ostinato, Rhythmic Improvisation
Fourth Grade: Melodic Improvisation
Fifth Grade: Ukulele Chords
Sixth Grade: Guitar Chords
I’ve included quite a bit of resources in this one product. There are teaching lessons for Beat, Rhythm, Melody, Bass, Ostinato, Guitar and Ukulele chords. There’s also ideas for puppets with clip art to help you make headbands or puppets for students to use as they learn the concepts.
Begin with an easy chant or song. Here’s the one I’m using- “Five Fat Turkeys” and old time favorite. I changed the melody just a bit so that it doesn’t go too low. Some might want to raise the pitch of the key-but I also use it for Guitars and they are learning C-F-G7 chords.
Demonstrate the beat using the beat chart as you chant. You’ll love the beat practice in the video. The turkeys appear on the beat. I know my kinders will love this feature. See the Video here: “Five Fat Turkeys” Music Lesson Teaching Video But you’ll want to keep on reading for some more ideas on how to use this resource in your music classroom.
Echo teach the chant as students pat the beat. For First and Second Graders-teach the rhythms by tapping or pat and clapping.
Teach the cute little actions and have students perform for you.
PLAYING INSTRUMENTS- RHYTHM AND BEAT
I also like to give them some “free” play time. I’ll choose 5 -8 students to be the turkey’s as the other students stand in the circle and say the chant. Then the turkey’s choose someone to take their place. This way everyone get’s a turn to be a “turkey” and students get more practice time.
Now they are ready to sit down and play instruments. I have a special way that the students get their instruments. I have the instruments in one place in the room. The students walk around the circle and pick up their instrument. They keep walking in the circle until they can get to their spot easily. We practice this procedure a couple of times and then it’s very easy for the students to get instruments and be ready to play quickly. I also teach them to put their instruments on the floor:
Instruments are not toys.
They make music-NOT noise!
PLAYING MELODY and BASS