Snail, Snail and Snail Mail

Here's one that you probably have in your repertoire:

If not, it's a keeper.  It's great for isolating so-mi-so-mi at the beginning and for teaching la.

I have a cute little snail puppet (thank goodness for Folkmanis!), named Sheldon, who helps me teach this song and he teaches a winding game.  Basically, with everyone holding hands, the teacher leads the group, gradually winding around and around to make a snail shell while everyone sings the song. The teacher or leader also unwinds the snail.  I've found the best way to unwind the shell, especially with first graders it to tell them (once they have formed the shell) that they aren't allowed to move until Sheldon gently touches their head.  As I unwind the shell and pass students I gently touch their head and guide them into following the leader. It's amazing to me how hard it is for them to follow the leader when doing this game!!!

There's another game that you can do that involved a parachute: using a parachute (Sheldon’s Shell), walk in a circle, with a student in the middle sitting down cross legged.  Once the student is wrapped up by the parachute to his or her shoulders, count to three, and pull out the sides of the parachutes so the student gets a fun, twisty ride!  They love this, but word to the wise: keep track of who's gotten turns!!! :)

I've made a PowerPoint for this and as you all know, I like to hit all the points rhythmically and melodically.  You can isolate the first couple melodic slides and use them to prepare and practice so-mi, but there is not a so-mi presentation slide.  Instead, I included la presentation slides:

Here's the title slide:

Lyric slide:

Beat slide:

Rhythm prep slide:

Rhythm practice slide (this is also written out in stick notation with note heads):

Melodic prep slides:

These slides are also written in G=do, as well as the following F=do slides:

Melodic presentation and practice slides:

 And then we go through all the slides again, but this time la is labeled (I have omitted a few of the slides in the blog post, but they are in the PDF):

And the "real" notation:

Now, onto the "Snail Mail" Game!!

Here's the way it works:

Print out the following cards, enough for each student to have one copy of each card (so, they will have anywhere from 4-12 cards.  I find that it works best to start with just 4 cards. Then the next time you play it try 8 cards, if they do well with the 4 cards).  You don’t have to print the stamp side, but it makes it look more like a postcard if you do.  It works well to have these presorted and made into sets.  I put each set in an envelope, that way I just pass an envelope out to every student and they take their cards out.
The teacher will sing one of the patterns.  The easiest way is to sing the pattern on solfége syllables. To make it harder, you can sing the pattern on a neutral syllable or play it on an instrument.
The students must find the card that matches the sung pattern. If they get it correct, they get to put their card back into the envelope.  If they are incorrect, they put their card back on the floor.  The goal is to be the first one (or one of the first ones) with all your cards back in your envelope.
There are two sets of cards: one with the solfa written on the card and one with out.  The set without makes the game more challenging.  Within those two sets, there are two subsets: one with so-mi on the spaces and one with so-mi on the lines.  

You can find this file at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for some hyper kids tomorrow?! (Said no teacher, ever, lol!!!)  Good luck with the Valentine's day sugar highs!  :)


  1. I love your snail mail game! What a fun, cute idea!

    I have a question for you about your powerpoints. Do you use Smart Board software to create your notation or something else? My district has been slow in jumping on the Smart Board bandwagon, so I don't have access to the software (at least not yet). If you do it some other way, however, I would be interested in learning how. I currently use Metronome font and Pixie to create flash cards and the like, but they don't allow me to do stick notation.

    Thank you so much for sharing all of your wonderful ideas! Since discovering your blog a few months ago, it's one of the first places that I visit when I need creative inspiration!

    1. Hi Rebecca! :)

      I don't have a SmartBoard, we do have Promethan software (Active Inspire) but I don't every use it.

      I recommend buying MusicEd Font- it's $25 and it's what I use on almost everything. (you do need to get a special license from them if you're going to sell things that have their font). I guarantee you it'll be the best $25 you'll ever spend on school things! :)

      Your comment made my day! Thanks so much for your feedback!! :)

  2. Hi Amy, how do you get the license to sell things that contain the MusicEd font?

    I am interested in getting things up on Teachers Pay Teachers, but I want to make sure that I follow all the rules!

    Lindsay Jervis

    1. Hi Lindsay,

      Go to the MusicEd Font page and go to "Contact". That's how I did it. :)


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