Skin and Bones

What is October in my classroom without singing "Skin and Bones?!"  This is a gem; I sang it growing up, my students ALWAYS love it and ask for it every year.  I do hang onto it until 3rd grade as I think it's a great preparation song for la,.

Here's the song:

I always teach this song by me singing it for the students first, without them seeing anything (text, images, etc.).  The only direction I give them is to listen for patterns and often times I will turn off the lights (granted, I have beautiful natural lighting in my room so it barely changes the lighting).  I love how engaged they are listening to the song for the first time and the shrieks of delight at the word "boo!".  Now, I do have some beautiful PowerPoints that I use with this, one with lyrics and animation and one with the pedagocial "stuff" (you know, the song with solfege icons, etc.).  I would share these but I didn't create them, one of the amazing Kodály teachers in my district made them a few years ago.

As I stated above, I first use this song with 3rd grade to prep la,.  The solfege for the repeating "OOo-ooo-oo-oo" pattern is mi-re-do-la,.  Since this is preparation I have them sing what is known, mi-re-do, on solfege and hum the last note.  The students derive that the new pitch is lower then do and that it's a skip (they often will say that it sounds similar to the interval/relationship between so and mi, as it should since it's a minor 3rd.).  After the known solfa is derived and they learn that there is a new note that is lower then do, they sing the song and substitute the known solfa and hum in for the "OOO-ooo-oo-oo" pattern.

Now, I'm kind of ashamed to admit, but I'm the type of person that will see something in the store, HAVE TO BUY IT and then figure out how to use it later.  Hence, this is why I have a closet full of foam shapes, random felt, stickers and other things I haven't used yet.  This year's Halloween-Walmart find was this:

It includes 30 Ghost foam cut outs: 15 of them are plain white ghosts and 15 of them are glittery.
Lucky, it didn't take me years to figure out how I'd use these.  What I did was I made a solfa ladder out of them for the students to use, in groups of 2-3, to point to while singing the solfege of the "OOo-ooo-oo-oo" or mi-re-do-la, pattern.  Now, since this is a preparatory activity for la, I made the bottom ghost with a "?" to indicate the mystery/unknown note.  The mi, re & do ghosts are made on the plain white ghosts and the new-unknown note is written on the glittery ghost.

I know that my 4th graders will want to sing this song once their concert is over on October 25th and since I had extra glittery ghosts I made some ghosts that have la, written on them.  I will also be able to bring this back, even though it will be after Halloween, to use with my 3rd graders after la, has been presented.  At this point, they can also use them in conjuntion with the powerpoints and to solfa the entire song.  I love that I can also use these for them to decode melodic patterns using mi-re-do-la,.  I will hum or "ooo" a pattern and they sing it back to me on solfa while pointing to the solfege ghosts.

This photo is mainly to try to show the difference between the plain and glittery ghosts.

Happy "spooking!" :)

1 comment

  1. I love this song and use it every year! I also bring it back for recorders. It's a great way for students to practice BAG E, on the oooo's while I play the verses. Thanks for sharing!


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