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Kindergarten: Rhythm

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Send us your great ideas for beat, fast/slow, sound/silence, etc. by clicking here.

CONCEPT(S): FAST/SLOW, MOVEMENT
Hey Betty Martin
Sing Hey Betty Martin, changing the "Betty Martin" to an animal, and change "tippy toe" to a type of movement suitable for that animal.  Sing slow if using a slow animal, and sing fast if using a fast animal.  Students move accordingly.
For example,
 
Hey little kangaroo, hop along, hop along.  Hey little kangaroo, hop along.  Hey little kangaroo, hop along, hop along.  Hey little kangaroo, hop along.
 
Hey little turtle, crawl around.
Hey little worm, inch along.
Hey little horsey, gallop fast.
Hey little race car, zoom around.
Etc...   
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CONCEPT(S): FAST/SLOW, BEAT
Eenie Meenie
Teach the eenie meenie poem, patching the beat:
 
Eenie meenie miney moe
Catch a tiger by the toe
If he hollars, let him go
Eenie meeni miney moe
 
Hold up a picture of a tiger? Is a tiger fast or slow?
Say the poem fast like a tiger, keeping the beat somewhere on the body.
Hold up various pictures (ie. snail, turtle, horse, lion, worm, etc.) and determine if the animal is fast or slow.  Say poem quickly or slowly (depending on animal), inserting the name of the animal (instead of tiger).  Keep the beat on different places of the body.
 
Let each student pick an animal of his/her choice.  The student tells you if the animal is fast or slow, and where they would like to keep the beat.  As a class, recite the poem (either fast or slow), using the child's animal & beat of choice. As an alternative (if the students are getting antsy), have children move fast or slow like the animal instead of keeping the beat.
 
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CONCEPT(S): FAST/SLOW, MOVEMENT, LISTENING
Kids in Action: Bop 'Til You Drop
The song Bop 'Til You Drop (from Greg & Steve's CD Kids in Action) is absolutely awesome for fast/slow.  You can get the CD Kids in Action from Greg & Steve's website
 
Hap Palmer also has a good fast/slow song called Slow and Fast. 
 
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Apple Tree Game for Vocal Exploration - Keira Brown
Beat, High/Low, Ascending/Descending
  Here's a game that I developed in my kindergarten classes for vocal exploration, steady beat, and high and low:

  We play the game "Apple Tree." The kids stand in a circle and sing the song:
Lyrics:
Apple tree, apple tree, will your apple fall on me?
I won't cry, I won't shout, if your apple knocks me out!
Melody:
s-s m s-s m s-s l-l s-s m
s-s m s-s m s-s l-l s-s d

  While they are singing, I walk around outside of the circle and tap two beats on each child's head with a laminated paper apple. (Later, the kids will do that part.)
  Whoever is last to get tapped on the head (as we end singing, "...knock me out!") gets the apple and sits down. Getting the apple softens the blow of being out.
  Once five or so kids are out, I pass out more apples to the rest of the students. We all sit down and sing the song while tapping the steady beat on our knees, heads, shoulders, etc. I realized that having something to hold, like the apple, gently forces kids to stay with me who might otherwise zone out! It's also easier to see who's doing the beat correctly since there are red/yellow apples moving rather than just hands.
  Next, I tell a story about a silly apple orchard:
"Once upon a time, there was a magical apple orchard where all the trees grew in a circle." (We all hold our apples up high since we are the trees. We sit on our knees to facilitate high and low, yet we stay planted in one spot.)
  "One day, ONE of the magical apples thought it might be time to fall to the ground. It went..." (I do a downward siren while bringing my apple to the ground.)
  "All the other apples followed." (The kids echo my siren and motion.)
  "But it wasn't time to fall yet! So that silly apple WENT BACK UP!" (Upward siren and motion, and all of the other apples follow, etc.)
  We have the apples fall different ways (i.e., like a leaf, spiraling, jumping from branch to branch, jumping to the very highest branch, etc.), always my apple first and with the class following. We always accompany the movement with some vocalizing.
  "Then the one apple felt tired. The branch it was on grew long, long, into the middle of the orchard and gently dropped the apple to the ground, and all the other apples followed." (I lean into the center of the circle and place the apple on the ground, then the kids do the same, making a neat little pile for me to pick up later.)

  My kiddos love this! Soon, I'll tell the story but let kids be the lead apple. Later, I'll have a child be the storyteller. Then, we'll probably move from apples to snowflakes.

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