I did it! 1st grade played Orff instruments! They even played a song!
I started off doing a lesson from Beth's Music Notes. I used the Hickory Dickory Dock lesson for low and high. Last week, we learned which direction was low and which direction was high. They loved that, so this week, they got to play their own instrument.
After we reviewed Hickory Dickory, we played an echo rhythm game. I played a simple rhythm on a tone bell and they repeated it. It took a minute for everyone to realize they had to play exactly what I played. I have been calling that game "Copy Cat."
Today I also used the characters from Mr. E's Musical Apartment with 1st grade. We didn't get into the story but I showed them the pictures of the characters I have on my board and arranged them as notes. They found the bars labeled C, D, and E. (I had only taken out B and F for Copy Cat) Then, we played C, D, E and used our syllables, tah tah ta-ah. I am really impressed with how well they did.
Speaking of Mr. E, I used it with 4th grade today. I thought they may consider it a little juvenile, but I was WAAAAY wrong. They loved it! Loved the story and loved the pictures I drew! We got out all the Orff instruments, I put "My Three Friends" from Mr. E, book 1 on the board and we played it. I'm extremely proud right now.
Here is a picture of my first graders playing Orff instruments.