Thursday, October 1, 2015

Brown Bear, Brown Bear: Rhythms and Drums and iPads

I have seen so many melodic activities and variations to this classic children's book.  The simplicity of the repetition lends itself nicely to students singing the question: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?  And teacher answering the question to move the storyline along.  I use this book in 2nd grade to assess solo singing and we get out our own beat buddies (aka. Beanie Babies) to sing about more animal friends.

In 1st grade, I wanted to build rhythmic reading skills but pre-notation.  I also finally got a class set of hand drums!  So here's my fun new rhythmic approach to Brown Bear!

Lesson Plan
This "game" has 4 levels.  I've been having tons of success with telling students that we need to master a level before we can "level up" and add something new

Objective: Students will create, read, and perform 8 beat patterns using familiar themes from Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Level 1: Whole Class Verbal
Introduce activity to whole class using the Smartboard.  Students place 4 cards in any order.  Whole class reads rhythm string together using words (brown bear, goldfish, green frog, yellow duck). 

Level 2: Whole Class Body Percussion
Students add body percussion to verbal chant.  I used hand clapping to prepare for hand drums. **Be sure to discuss "Purple Cat" and "Yellow Duck" having more syllables.  This is an important learning step towards eighth notes!**

Level 3: Whole Class Hand Drums
Students add percussion. 

Level 4: Small Groups with iPads
Students create their own rhythm strings on iPads and perform for each other.  I used groups of 2 and one student was the "composer" who created the string while the other was the performer.  Students switch after each turn.

Bonus Round: Double Up!
Two group join forces and place their two iPads together.  Composers work together to compose an 8 card string and both hand drummers perform together.

Tech Specs
Smartboard File
Explain Everything File

You can turn my Explain Everything File into a QR code for easy access for student downloading.