A busy 2 weeks
Wow, it has been busy with CITA the past two weeks!
Jan. 11-15: We built our junk guitars and shakers out of various cardboard pieces so the students could experience sound energy first hand. We also composed a song about sound energy. The students were asked write a rhyming lyric with "Now we'll play our instruments to show sound energy." We focused on finding rhyming words with "gy" and came up with several rhymes like "see" and "be" and "key," We then composed sentences that ended with one of the rhyming words we came up with. We eventually combined two ideas that students came up with and composed the lyric "We all know the song. Vibrations are the key." The next day we learned to play the song on our instruments!
We also did a LOT of video taping in preparation for Arts night this week.
A lot of our time this week was practicing for Arts Night. We did manage to start the composition part of our Story Retell composition project. Rachel actually really started this unit a couple weeks ago. She prepped all the stories being read, broken down into main points. This took the students quite a while and we were also waiting for our new instrument purchases to arrive. In any case, this week we got to check out our new instruments (all but 2 have arrived) and started working on our compositions. I think doing compositions in partners has helped the process, but also the kids are a lot more experienced with this kind of thing now! The results have been fantastic. I have a feeling we'll be finishing up next week with some performances and video.
Speaking of video, you can see some of our Arts Nights videos in my online portfolio.
Back to school
The kids adjusted quickly to being off of holiday break, so I was able to get back in the classroom on Tuesday. In science class the students were learning about sound energy, vibrations, volume, and pitch. I brought in my guitar, flute, and clarinet to play for the students. We looked at the guitar string vibrating and noticed how if I plucked it harder the sound got louder. We also learned about how a shorter string sounds higher in pitch that a longer string. We also talked about the flute and clarinet and how the length of the tube being used determines how high or low the pitch sounds. They did a great job figuring out what they thought would happen when I lifted or put down a finger! Rachel jumped in with some impromptu graphics to help illustrate the concept.
We started making straw flutes with the idea the kids would be able to get the length of tube = pitch concept. We got as far as getting (mostly) functional straw flutes. (It was a noisy day!)
I also happened to have a bass drum in my car (as occasionally happens) so I brought it in and had the kids feel the vibrations on one head of the drum as I hit the other. We talked about how the air inside the drum is moving and vibrating the other head. A very tactile lesson in sound waves!
We spent the rest of the week video taping for the upcoming arts night. We're planning on continuing to build our "junk band" with straw flutes and rubber band guitars next week. We're also planning our upcoming composition project with story retelling. Should be fun!
Dr. Erika Svanoe
Teaching Artist for Arts Integration Menomonie.