Apple Tree

Apple Tree is a gem. . . that's the best way I can describe it.  It's got a rhythm that is easy for my 1st graders to derive, is great for teaching so-mi (extracted in the first and third phrases), is great for la (extracted in the 2nd) and for do (the final phrase of the song).  What's more is it has a fun game that the kids ask for over and over and over and over and over. . . . .  and over again for.  If you're not familiar with the song, here it is:

The game:
Formation:  standing circle, holding hands, with two people (I use myself and a student volunteer) making and arch.
Action:  as the song is sung, the students process in a circular motion with the circle going under the arch formed by the teacher and student volunteer.  On the word "out" the arch lowers their arms, catching whoever is under the tree at that time.  The caught student then joins the arch (I refer to it as the tree).  The game is repeated until all the "apples" (the students in the walking circle) are caught.  As the tree grows, more students are caught.  The students love this!

As I mentioned, this song is GREAT for 1st and 2nd grades.  I use it for ta & ti-ti reading and so-mi-la reading in the first grade.  I have created sets of tone ladders that the students use to sing the phrases.  After they have derived the known solfa (the first three phrases of the song), they sing it while pointing to the solfége apples on their tone ladder.  
On the back of the tone ladder are the Curwin handsigns for the solfa.  I found this really helps my kinesthetic learners.  Both tone the apple tone ladder and the solfa hands are used to sing the phrases of the song and to do melodic decoding with known solfa.
 Here are a couple more reading manipulatives that I use with my students with apple tree.  I have them written with the "note heads" both on the lines and on the spaces as to reinforce the staff relationships between so-mi-la.

 This is a great song to bring back in second grade to practice do.  The students know it, love it and remember it well and the fact that do is the final note of the song really reinforces that newly learned second grade concept.

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