Blog

Art Is Learning

By Barrie Young 14 Dec, 2017
I just got this book for Halloween for my son titled Room on the Broom . It is a story of a friendly witch who continues to accept friendship from the creatures that help her. She invites them to all stay on her broom with her, even though it very quickly gets overcrowded. But in her mind, there is always room for one more friend. My son loves this story so much, and wanted to "play broom" every time that we would read it. I realized that this simple story was actually very engaging, since the rhymes are clever and the story is fun and magical. I thought about a way that we could have an art activity that related to this story. So I decided to make a lesson plan out of it too for a simple drawing lesson! After reading the story to students, I would instruct them to think about who they would invite on their own broom. After listing what they would want to ride on their own broom (as little or as many characters/creatures as they would like), then I would encourage them to create their own version of a broom with chairs, perches, pools, or whatever else they could come up with to make their guests on their broom comfortable. I have posted a video of the story HERE.
By Barrie Young 13 Dec, 2017
Subjects:  Music, P.E., Health
Grades:  3, 4, 5, 6

Objective: Identifying instrument families
You will need a large space to play; in warm weather I like to use a grassy area outside. It’s a game of tag, with one or two people being “it.” The teacher calls an instrument family (brass, percussion, woodwind, or string) and says go. The person who is “it” has to tag someone, and that person then becomes “it.” Here’s the music part: In order to be “safe” and not be tagged, a student must say the name of an instrument from the category called and then sit down. For example, if I call woodwinds and say go, you would have to say “clarinet” or “flute” (or another woodwind instrument) and then sit down so you don’t get tagged. Then, jump back up and join the game again. You cannot stay seated for more than 5 seconds. When the teacher calls a new family, you must say a instrument from that family and sit down to be safe. This game will also work with other music facts, like note values or composers.
By Barrie Young 13 Dec, 2017
This is another lesson plan that integrates science (and the scientific method) with an arts lesson! After completing an observation activity (see, think, wonder charting activity) of Van Gogh's Starry Night , the students can then participate in a group art assignment to recreate Starry Night .  The teacher can explain that the earth is just one part of the solar system, and use that to prompt a project that includes all of the class creating one piece of a tile of starry night, to then reassemble and display in the classroom. I used to love doing mosaic projects as a student, but they always took a long time to complete individually. Presenting this project as a group activity will help the project complete more quickly. 

Click HERE to see the detailed lesson plan.
By Barrie Young 13 Dec, 2017
I found this lesson plan and instantly fell in love with the ideas! This lesson integrates abstract arts with poetry, and even has a math element! The activities that can be utilized in this lesson plan include group discussion, poetry evaluation, math studies and visual art projects. After those activities are completed, then the students can write their own shape poems. This activity would be better suited for 3rd to 5th graders but certain activities could be used on younger grade levels as well.

Click HERE to get the full lesson plan for Shape Poetry! 
By Barrie Young 12 Dec, 2017
Subject:  Music
Grades:  3, 4, 5, 6

Instrument making:
You can have fun making simple instruments with children. Tie this in as a lesson in recycling by telling them to ONLY use household objects, or objects that are considered disposable. For example cutting the ends of straws in a “V” shape, flattening them and then blowing hard will produce interesting sounds! Experiment with the length of straws. Discuss
relationship between length and pitch. Discuss how length of air columns affect sound in things like recorders etc.

Try rubber band guitars. Use a sturdy box with a lid. Cut a circle in the top for the sound hole. Stretch rubber bands, or elastic (eg hat elastic) around the box and lift elastic up off the box with pencils each end to avoid buzzing. Discuss the effect of different lengths of elastic, different thickness, and different tensions and how it affects pitch. Explain
similarities with guitars and violins and other string instruments.

Try a drum: Cut the ends off 2 balloons. Stretch them over 2 large coffee lids. Tape a pencil to the back of one, to act as a handle. Attach a string to the pencil and on each end of the string, place a small bead. (Make sure the bead is placed in the right spot, so that when it swings around, it will hit the balloon). Attach the 2 coffee lids together with tape, enclosing the pencil. Put pencil between palms and rub together. The string and beads should swing around to hit the balloons on either side, producing a great sound. Discuss effect of tightness of balloons on the pitch and volume of sound. Discuss applications to other instruments eg) tambours, drums etc.

Water jars. Find a collection of jars and experiment until you can create various notes and then paint the water level on the outside so you will know next time. Get the kids to arrange the jars in order from lowest to highest pitch. Tap jars and play “Mary had a little lamb” or “Twinkle little star” etc. Discuss the effect of depth of water, container size and
shape, glass thickness, etc. How do they affect the pitch? Experiment with identical containers too!

Try some bottle maracas ! Fill drink bottles with different objects, pens and pencils, buttons, rice, etc. Try ping pong balls – cut a drink container in half, put the balls in and retape, decorating the container. It’s amazing how many kids can’t work out how the balls got in there! Talk about volume and texture of sound. I hope you have fun with some of these ideas.
By Barrie Young 12 Dec, 2017
So this is a game that I actually received as a gift for myself. However my young son insists on "helping" me every time I pull it out! At first he just wanted to play with the dog shaped pieces in the game, but then he actually wanted to start solving the puzzles. Like a tangram puzzle, the player is given a card with a certain shape that they need to fill. But instead of using squares and triangles, they are using various sizes and shapes of dogs!

The earlier puzzles are more simple, but still offer enough mental stimulation for my son to enjoy them. Yet once you get into the intermediate puzzles it becomes much more challenging! Even as an adult, this game challenges me to solve the puzzles and really consider where certain pieces MUST go in order to be able to solve the puzzle in a certain way. Like tangrams, this is a great puzzle game. Students could even create their own puzzle cards for each other to solve (integrating a creative art project into the game!), though the game itself comes with plenty of card puzzles to solve. Students could even work with partners or small groups to solve some of the more difficult puzzles together.

Once you get all done with the Dog Pile game, then move onto its sister game Cat Stax! It is the same game, but it uses cats instead of dogs, and has different puzzles because of the shape differences. This is a great little game to keep in the classroom or in the home.

You can buy Dog Pile and Cat Stax online!
By Barrie Young 12 Dec, 2017
One of the first musical lessons that I ever wrote (and taught) was in one of my college music classes. We had to develop a lesson plan that incorporates arts and other topics. I chose to do a rhythm lesson that is also a lesson in fractions. I used musical notation (half notes, quarter notes, whole notes, etc.) in order to describe how fractions work. Then I used circled chunks of the notation to try to get the students to guess what fraction I was talking about. 

This is another lesson plan that I found about using rhythm and fractions. It is very similar to the original idea that I used in class, but I liked this lesson plan because it also included adding the sections of musical fractions together to see if it equals to "one", or even more than "one".  
By Barrie Young 12 Dec, 2017
I found this lesson and I LOVE IT! I always thought that being able to describe emotion and mood from listening to a section of music is so important. You can describe why you feel a certain way depending on the instrument choice, loudness, and even length of notes.

In this lesson you have the students listen to a particular piece of music. They then have to try to write one descriptive word that they think about that piece. Try to get them to use more specific descriptive words than "sad", "happy", or "angry". You can open the full lesson plan  HERE. 


By Barrie Young 12 Dec, 2017
Subjects:  Music, P.E. & Health

Grades:  3, 4, 5, 6

Objective: Identifying instrument families
You will need a large space to play; in warm weather I like to use a grassy area outside. It’s a game of tag, with one or two people being “it.” The teacher calls an instrument family (brass, percussion, woodwind, or string) and says go. The person who is “it” has to tag someone, and that person then becomes “it.” Here’s the music part: In order to be “safe” and not be tagged, a student must say the name of an instrument from the category called and then sit down. For example, if I call woodwinds and say go, you would have to say “clarinet” or “flute” (or another woodwind instrument) and then sit down so you don’t get tagged. Then, jump back up and join the game again. You cannot stay seated for more than 5 seconds. When the teacher calls a new family, you must say a instrument from that family and sit down to be safe. This game will also work with other music facts, like note values or composers. This is a simple game to play outside for P.E., but it will also include a music lesson for the students as well! 
By Barrie Young 12 Dec, 2017
Subject:  Music

Grades:  K, 1, 2, 3

This lesson plan is designed to teach students the concept of rhythm in a song, by listening to music and playing instruments to represent actions.
 
OBJECTIVES:  Students will learn how to keep a beat with the music.
 
MATERIALS: 
-Rhythm instruments (shakers, maracas, rain stick, wood block, finger cymbals)
-Copy of the “What Would I Do” song available for free at:
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_3329056
 
Anticipatory Set:
-Have the students watch “Peter and the Wolf” and talk about how each character was represented by a certain instrument.
-Tell students they will do a song where they select an instrument that will represent an action that happens in the story.
 
Activity:
• Play the song “What Would I Do?” for the students so they can hear where their action in the story happens in the song.
• Select 6 students at a time and have each student choose an instrument to represent their sound in the song/story. (1 st student: action of rain, 2 nd student: action of jumping in a puddle, 3 rd student: action of walking in the mud, 4 th student: action of hopping in grass, 5 th student: action of skipping in the driveway, 6th student: action of running in the backyard)
• While these 6 students are using their instruments during the song, have the rest of the class do the actions in place (i.e. jumping, walking, hopping, skipping, and running).
• In the last part of the song, have all the students play their instruments all at once.
 
Plan for Independent Practice:
-Assessment based on objectives: encourage the students to be creative in coming up with their instruments and rhythms but also ask them why they chose the instrument they did.
-Adaptations (for students with learning disabilities): many instruments are available for students with disabilities to play.
More Posts
Share by: