I love spring and I particularly love all the great manipulative "things" that you can find to use in your classroom around this time. A few years ago I found Easter Eggs that were shaped and designed like balls that I use with "Bounce High, Bounce Low" and this year I bought a ball basket to go with it (for a $1 after Easter). I have found eggs shaped like jelly beans, fish, sea shells, cupcakes, popsicles, ice cream cones and these all lend themselves to be used with various songs and I will blog about those in the near future.
Today's Easter find is carrots. I have two sets, this one is one that I'm currently using with my first graders to practice ta, ti-ti and quarter rest. We have been using "John the Rabbit" for solo singing (I've been able to get a quick, short assessment my kiddos, who each get a solo turn to sing on the response "yes ma'am").
After the song, all my "bunnies" get to pick a carrot from my harvest. Inside each carrot is a rhythm from a known song. Each student then has a turn to read their rhythm to the class. The most important thing about this activity is to have multiple carrots containing the same rhythm. As all the eggs are read, everyone must listen to see if the rhythm being read matches the rhythm in their egg. By having them listen for matching rhythms, it keeps them engaged and makes for a great transition if the next activity in your lesson calls for small groups (all the students with matching rhythms would get in the same group for the next activity).
This activity can be changed and adapted to fit whatever rhythmic or melodic concept your students are practicing by inserting different known phrases that contain those specific elements. :)