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Grade 6: Recorder

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Philipak, Barb. (2002). Recorder Karate: A highly motivational
     method for young players. Plank Road Publishing Inc.
This book is available at St. John's Music ($48.95 for Teacher's Handbook and CD).  The book includes reproducibles of each song (to hand out to students), as well as clipart, teaching strategies, and how the Recorder Karate program works.  The songs get progressively more difficult, and as students master each song, they receive a new coloured "karate belt" (yarn) to tie on the bottom of their recorders.  This program is easily used with any recorder songs (if your gr. 4 or 5 students don't find the music in this book appealing).  The CD has 3 recordings for each song - 1 with recorder & accompaniment, 1 with just accompaniment at a slower tempo, and 1 with just accompaniment at the normal tempo.

Baseball Recorder Game - Gretchen Taylor

(Based on Recorder Karate Book)

  I've come up with a recorder game I'm going to try with my 6th and 7th grade classes next week and thought I'd share. The intention is to review playing skills, song material, and have fun...
  Divide class into two teams. Flip a coin to decide who bats first. Arrange the room with chairs for the bases (except home). Place a music stand with a copy of the recorder book or belt songs on it by home plate (this is the pitcher's mound). The team that is "up" stays behind home plate, the other team is in the outfield (scattered about the opposite side of the room, seated or standing). Everyone has their recorders in hand. Each batter will be playing a short phrase or measure of music that you select depending on the type of "hit" selected. For example: a single could require the batter to play a measure or short phrase from any white/yellow belt song material, a double = orange/green belt material, a triple = blue/purple belt material, a home run = red/brown/black belt material (or however you want to do it).

A few rules:
1. Each player gets two tries when up to bat.
2. The playing must be accurate in terms of notes, rhythm, and articulation to allow the player to make their "hit."
3. Any errors when playing constitute a foul. Two fouls and you're out.
4. After the batter plays the material, the outfielders are to echo what was played (this is mainly to keep them engaged in the game).
5. A side is retired after three outs, or the entire team has batted that inning.
6. A player cannot hit higher than his current belt level.
7. No stealing is allowed. (Though I'm considering placing a student in the outfield as a ref, and if someone is caught NOT echo playing, then the runners will be allowed a steal. I may give this ref a green card to hold up when a steal is permitted. Only one base can be stolen, and no out can be made on a steal.)

  You are always the pitcher. Now, when a player comes up to bat, ask him what kind of hit he wants to go for. After he chooses (single, double, etc.), then you pick a song from that belt level, indicate a measure or short phrase from that song for him to play, set the pulse, and let him play. The outfield echos. If accurate, he takes his base(s) and all base runners advance. If he messes up, that's a foul. He can try again. If successful, he takes the base. Messes up, foul #2 and out. Next batter up. And so on just like regular baseball. You may want to choose a scorekeeper too.
  I hope this makes sense.


End-Of-The-Year Activity: Recorder Bingo - Gretchen Taylor
  I wanted to let you all know that my homemade recorder bingo game was great success with my 6ths and 7ths. I prepared a blank tic-tac-toe grid with a "Melody Space" in the middle. I made copies of the grid. Then I copied the Recorder Karate chart of all the notes/fingerings found in the book. I let the kids prepare their own grids by having them cut out 8 of the 10 possible notes and glue them on the grid in any arrangement they wanted. Then I had them glue the grids onto black construction paper. I laminated them all. I made two laminated copies of the note/fingering chart, one which I cut up by notes for calling, and the other for the master chart.
  To play, I invited a student to be the caller. I drew each note card, s/he would play the note for the class. No note names were given - they had to go strictly by the fingering and sound. All would mark their cards until a Bingo was called. Then the caller would check the winner's card. The winner would call out each note name and then play it. I would check the master chart. Now, if their bingo checked out okay, they would then have to come up front and play a few measures from a simple song out of the method book. This is for the Melody Space. If there was more than one bingo, all winners would come up and play.
  To make the game a little more interesting, I would determine various patterns for each round (like an X, +, T, L, upside down T, postage stamp, H, etc.). Each pattern included the Melody Space.
  The kids really seemed to enjoy the game. The different callers got some extra practice playing all the notes and being a leader, AND I got to hear the kids play (a way to get some extra assessments).
  It took my 7th graders most of one class period to make the cards. We spent a whole period (45 min.) playing the game.
  Know though, that both of my classes playing the Bingo game have been introduced to all the notes. Hope this is clear enough.

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