Second Graders are using traditional rhymes as a foundation for improvisation and as an entry into 6/8 meter. Students were able to think of a rhyme and say it on time between a hambone syle body percussion rhythm. Many traditional rhymes are in 6/8 meter, where each beat is divided into 3 eighth notes: "Hickory Dickory Dock" was our target rhyme for orchestrating a 6/8 meter into 5 layers of instrumental harmony.
Another 6/8 poem the kids have been orchestrating is a lovely one I wrote myself while I was out on the range with a piece of grass between my teeth. It's called "Galloping Horse." Those two words combine in different orders to create a lilting 6/8 rhythm. Ask your second grader to recite this masterpiece of a poem. Once we learned the poem, students then worked collaboratively in small groups to create a rhythmic accompaniment for each word. They then shared their creations with the group, and then orchestrated it on percussion instruments as an ensemble.
Now we can read and perform the 6/8 rhythm notation that represents what we've been playing all along. When you look at this rhythm, do you see "Galloping Galloping Horse" or "Hickory Dickory Dock?"
Audio excerpt of a second grade class orchestrating "Galloping Horse" can be found on my blog, http://musenewstis.blogspot.com