Hunting for Turkeys

Warning: this idea is stolen!  I have modified this from Jeremy's post over at Kentucky Kodály.  He does a game called "Sea of Solfa"/"Catch that Tune".  I thought it would be fun to change this to work for Thanksgiving.

Here's the basic idea: two sets of students are assigned to be "hunters".  (I have two students in each set).  The rest of the students are "turkeys" and are scattered throughout the room:
Each turkey is given a turkey die-cut to hold.  Below is the set I used with my 3rd graders.  You can add the extended pentatone (I did this with 4th grade) and fa (I did this with 5th grade) or more, depending on your students' singing/reading ability:

From here there are now some options of how you can proceed:

  1. the teacher can sing a pattern, using solfége and the hunters have to go retrieve the appropriate turkeys and put them in order to match the phrase.
  2. the teacher can sing or play a pattern on a neutral syllable and the hunters gather turkeys
  3. the teacher can sing the pattern on a neutral syllable, students can write the pattern on the board and then the hunters retrieve turkeys. This is what I did, here's an example of a pattern from today (G-do):


Once the hunters think they have the correct turkeys in the right order, they play an instrument (i.e. a triangle), everyone "freezes" and reads the turkeys in the order that the hunters arranged them.  If it's correct, the hunters all pick a turkey to trade places/jobs with, a new pattern is given and play continues.

I must admit I had some anxiety with this game.  I think my main problem is I am a control freak.  When the hunters were looking for turkeys and all the turkeys were gobbling (even though they were doing it in a "quiet" manner, as we went over before the game started) my blood-pressure went up and I felt a complete overwhelming feeling of chaos.  In analyzing this, maybe it's just the nature of the game?  But there are some good points for this game: the kids got to move creatively, they had to decode melodic patterns and they did a really good job of stopping when the "cued" instrument signaled to do so.  After my Advil kicks in we'll see if I'm brave enough to try it again tomorrow!!! ;)

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