We finished up our animal unit this week with a performance day on Monday. Everyone explained how they linked the sound of their instrument to their animal and then performed their composition. I've begun posting some of the students work and our documentation here.
Overall, I think the composition unit was a success. We successfully got the kids to think about their animals in a pretty abstract and creative way, and integrated music into their science research project. I also think Rachel will be able to do this unit on her own in future. I think we might have been able to streamline it a little more, but overall I think it was pretty effective and reinforced what the students were learning about their assigned animals.
The rest of the week we took the animal unit one step further and the students wrote poems about their animals, much like the "Carnival of the Animals" had accompanying poems. I helped out with this and related it to how I write a song. We talked about rhyming and ways to find words that rhyme, as well as the most effective place to put rhymes in a poem. The students all used at least on rhyme in their poems and they look pretty adorable.
We're taking a little time to plan the next unit which will be working on reading skills. We have a lot of ideas on how music can help with various aspects of reading, but they need a little fine tuning. We'll see what happens!