Post-Easter Manipulative Mania

I mentioned in my last post, "Carrot Rhythm," how I love the items you can find in the stores around Easter to use as manipulatives in the music classroom.  Here's one that I found after Easter in the local Safeway:
It's hard to see from the picture, but they are cupcake, ice cream cone and popsicle Easter Eggs.  Here are just a couple of the ways that I'm going to use them:

#1:  Down to the Baker's Shop
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this song!  I use it with 2nd grade, even though rhythmically and melodically they cannot read it all.  

The first thing we do with it is play a cumulative chain-movement game.  I have a basket in which I have pictures of different baked goods: cupcakes, brownies, cookies, cake, pie, hot cross buns.  I walk around the outside circle with the basket and at the end of the song I ask the student that I am behind to join me in going to the Bakery Shop and hand then a picture of an item from the basket that they are going to purchase at the Baker's Shop.  This continues until all students are following in the line to go to the bakery shop.  This is great practice for moving in a circle (we all know the tendency is for the circle to shrink and become too small to move).  It also is great preparation for more complicated folk dances that they will learn in 3rd grade.  At the end of the song I sing them directions to sit down (to the tune of "Hot Cross Buns").  The students already know this song, recognize that I sang the directions to  the tune of that song and we transition into that song.  

"Hot Cross Buns" is my presentation song for re:

This year, as a late practice activity we are going to re-visit "Down to the Bakershop" but instead of getting a picture of a baked good from the basket and playing the cumulative movement game, each student is going to pick one of the Easter Egg cupcakes from the basket and sing the pattern that is inside the cupcake for the class.  As with "Carrot Rhythms," these will all be melodic phrases from  songs that they know and there will be repeated patterns so that once students have sang a melody they are listening for who else receives the same pattern.

#2:  Jean, Jean

This is another one of my favorites.  I learned it from Susan Brumfield in level I Kodály at PSU and she taught us a cumulative memory game with it.

I use this first in kindergarten and we say it high and low, loud and soft, fast and slow.  So, when we bring it back in first grade it's already familiar.  One of the first activities we do with it is to have recite it and after each time we go around the circle and each child names their favorite ice cream flavor.  Later on, it becomes cumulative: we say the chant then the first student says their favorite ice cream flavor; we say the chant again then the second child says their favorite ice cream flavor and everyone says the first child's favorite flavor.  This continues around the circle with each student adding their favorite flavor and going through all the previously names flavors.  While not rhythmic or melodically challenging, this is great memory work.

This year, as an extension, we will us the popsicle and ice cream cone eggs to hid rhythmic patterns.  We will recite the chant and then each student will read the rhythm pattern that is inside their egg.  Again, as will the carrot rhythms, there will be repeats of patterns to keep all the students engaged.  

The uses for these manipulatives are endless, but I thought I'd share a couple that ways that I will be using them in the next week or two. :)


  1. Great ideas, Amy. I wanted to share that Move It 2! by John Feierabend has a 'bakers' theme movement activity on it, Beethoven: Ecossaises WoO 83, that would be perfect for k-2 students after the high concentration activity.
    Really enjoying yours posts and thanks so much for sharing:)

    1. You did tell me that, I forgot to mention that! Thanks for the reminder!! :) I also love the Three Little Muffins chant (I use it mainly in kinder but could bring it back for a transition too)


Powered by Blogger.