Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Nutcracker

December is finally here and we can finally begin The Nutcracker! I am so excited! Here are my lessons and resources for teaching The Nutcracker to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade.

First, I am using a wonderful iPad app to share the story with my students. It is called The Nutcracker Musical Storybook and it is 2.99 from the app store.

The app allows you to read the story like a book or plays as a movie.

In first grade, we are studying the March and The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies. I am using the quiz from Beth's Music Notes with my 1st grade. This quiz is so great and has everything I want. Why reinvent the wheel?

In 2nd and 3rd grade, we are focusing on the dances. 2nd grade will listen to 3 dances: Chinese, Russian and Arabian. In 3rd grade, we add Waltz of the Flowers. Each grade will complete a listening assignment for the dances. Here are copies of each.

2nd graders circle their answers for musical characteristics of each dance and then draw a picture of what the music makes them think of. I love having them draw! It is always nice to see what they come up with.

 3rd graders are circling their answers also, but since we just finished our instruments of the orchestra unit, I am asking them to identify an instrument they hear. I also want them to write what the music reminds them of. This sets them up for 4th grade Listening Journals. (I only have 3rd graders for one semester each.)
 After our paperwork is complete, I have a fun parachute routine for the Russian Dance. I am going to attempt this with a 1st grade class and see how it goes.

The routine is as follows: (you can hear where the changes are in the music)

on the accent- jump
repeat 4x

rotate right
rotate left

>- jump
>- jump
>>>> -slam, slam, slam, slam

>- jump
>- jump
repeat 2x

shake left and right
4 counts from the end- parachute up and kids go under

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