For all you Lorax moms out there who speak for the fleas, this one's for you.
One Two Three Mother caught a flea. Flea died, mother cried, One Two Three.
Second graders collaborated with a partner for a composition assignment using this traditional rhyme as a rhythmic foundation. Once we were all clear on the rhythm notation, they set off together on a composition journey through the 5 "C pentatonic" notes, deciding as partners which melodic combination sounded best, always ending on the home tone of C.
Once each partner had learned their own melody, we played everyone's new song in a rondo form, ABACADA etc.. with the A section being everyone's melody played simultaneously, and individual melodies between. We marveled at how many different melodies can be invented using only 5 notes. Please listen to a classroom audio example on my blog: http://musenewstis.blogspot.com
They then began the process of notating their composition on a treble staff. We are using the music room SMRT board as a tool for learning the fine points of handwriting music notation. I love seeing the corrections students have made to their own notation after having seen good and bad examples on the board.
I have included some photos of this very fun collaborative project, and if you look carefully, I think we all know who brought the fleas to this party.