Saturday, January 17, 2015

Debbie's Quick Teaching Tip #20

A Bag of Toy Animals

I love using cloth, draw string bags. My fabulous Mum has made me lots! At one stage in my career, other music teachers even referred to me as 'The Bag lady'. 
These bags are useful and colourful. The children get excited imagining what is hidden within. Today it is FARM ANIMALS.
This may be a small bag with small plastic animals (if not from your children's old toys, they can be purchased at a cheap shop for a dollar or two), or a larger bag with stuffed toys. Whatever you have will work.
Here are a few activity ideas.  

Children pick a toy from the bag and:
  • that toy decides the verse. For example, pick out a cow and that is what Old MacDonald has on his farm, pick out a horse, and that is what you see along the way when I Went to Visit a Farm One Day, maybe The Farmer in the Dell could have new verses about the animal chosen...
  • clap the animal's name and determine how many sounds. Chicken - clap and say 'chic-ken' - has two sounds. This syllable work is really important leading up to the teaching of rhythm.
  • sing a song about that toy. This improvisation activity is loads of fun, and teaches the children to take risks and have fun creating. No wrong responses! At first you might just ask the child to sing (any tune that comes into their head) a description of the animal "This duck is yellow and it has a bill". Another time, ask them to give the animal a name "My name is Desley Donkey" or "This spotted cow is called Daisy Bell" or "My name is Henry Horse". This can then be expanded to anything you or the children wish: What happened on the farm? Who is their friend? What are they doing next?
I hope these ideas have sparked loads of other ideas!

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