One Two Red Balloon

One Two Red Balloon

Τετάρτη, 29 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Easter lesson: Easter, Easter, Happy Easter!

Baskets full of chocolate bunnies,
Easter eggs and chocolate chicks!
Easter bread all mummies make,
and all kids the Egg Hunt play!
Easter, Easter, Happy Easter! (x2)
Easter candles, Holy light,
“Happy Easter” the church bells ring!
Fireworks upon the sky,
Easter hugs, Easter kisses!
Easter, Easter, Happy Easter! (x2)

Stage 1 – Brief Revision
Revise the previous lesson briefly following the procedure of Lesson 3 Stage 1
Stage 2 – Vocabulary focus EASTER: basket, chocolate bunny, Easter egg, chocolate chick, Easter bread, the Egg Hunt, Easter candle, Holy light, the church bells, fireworks, Easter hug, Easter kiss, Happy Easter
Prepare flashcards and finger puppets at home that depict an Easter basket, a chocolate bunny, an Easter egg, a chocolate chick, Easter bread, the Egg Hunt, an Easter candle, Holy light, the church bells, fireworks, an Easter hug, an Easter kiss, Happy Easter. Present the flashcards to Ss, use L1 (or better L1 and Lf) and ask them: “What can you see in the pictures?”, “What comes to your mind when you think of Easter?”, “Do you like Easter?”, “What do you like most about it?”, “How do you celebrate Easter in your country?”. Present and drill vocabulary items concerning Easter in English by using the flashcards and / or rhythmical clapping [ Ea-ster, ba-sket, Egg Hunt, church bells (clap two quarter notes, ta ta), fire-works, Ea-ster egg, choco-late chick, Ea-ster bread, Ea-ster hug, Ea-ster kiss (clap two quarter notes and one half note, ta ta ta-ah), choco-late bu-nny, Ea-ster can-dle, Ho-ly li-ght, Ha-ppy Ea-ster (clap four quarter notes, ta ta ta ta)]. Tell Ss that they will sing a song in which they will describe how Easter is celebrated in England. Play the song on the piano. Ask Ss to i) stand up and move to the rhythm of the music ii) put the Easter flashcards in the correct order based on the song iii) sing the song and clap their hands (4 quarter notes per measure, ta ta ta ta). You could also pause before the following words bunnies, chicks, Egg Hunt, Holy light, hugs, kisses and ask Ss to fill in the gaps with the words missing by either raising the correct finger puppet / flashcard or by miming them.
Stage 3 – Incorporating percussion instruments into our activities & practising rhythmical patterns
Divide the class into groups and give them the percussion instruments they are going to use in this song (Always give instructions by following the procedure of Lesson 1 Stage 3). Group A beats 2 half notes per measure using their bells (ta-ah ta-ah), Group B beats 4 quarter notes per measure using their jingle sticks (ta ta ta ta), Group C beats 8 eighth per measure using their sticks (ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti). Practice separately and then altogether as a band. Last, ask Ss to play and sing the song as much as they can.
Stage 4 – Follow-up activities
Ask Ss to make Easter cards, baskets, Easter eggs etc by using paints, drawings, cardboard, glitter glue, stickers and so on. You could also distribute Easter colouring pages to them. Throughout these activities, Ss could be listening to music. In the end, Ss exchange their cards and wish each other “Happy Easter”. Alternatively, you could watch a cartoon that is about Easter or even play the Egg Hunt game in the school yard / garden. Ask Ss to sing goodbye to Mrs Mary (see Lesson 1 Followup) and wish her “Happy Easter” .











Christmas lesson: Santa Claus

Santa Santa Santa Claus! (x2)
The reindeer guide the sleigh
to town; it's Christmas Eve
and you leave our presents
under the Christmas tree!
Santa Santa Santa Claus!(x2)
The elves have made the toys
you've got inside your sack.
You offer joy and happiness
to us who need them much!
Santa Santa Santa Claus!(x2)
Santa Claus we love you,
we've got some milk for you!
Santa Claus we love you,
we've got some cookies too!
Santa Santa Santa Claus! (x2)
Merry Christmas!

Stage 1 – Brief Revision
Revise the previous lesson briefly following the procedure of Lesson 3 Stage 1
Stage 2 – Vocabulary focus i) CHRISTMAS: Santa Claus, reindeer, sleigh, Christmas Eve, present, Christmas tree, elf, sack, Merry Christmas ii) FOOD: milk, cookie iii) FEELINGS: joy, happiness
Prepare flashcards and finger puppets at home that depict vocabulary concerning Christmas. Use L1 or better L1 and Lf) and ask Ss whether they like Christmas and what comes to their mind when they think of it. While brainstorming, elicit vocabulary such as Santa Claus, sleigh, reindeer, Christmas tree, elf, presents, snowman, the Three Kings, bells, Christmas candle, angels, Holly wreath, Christmas ball / bauble, Christmas socks, milk and cookies, carols etc by using the flashcards. Ask students some more questions: “Do you decorate your houses at Christmas?”, “Do you sing carols on Christmas Eve /New Year's Eve?”, “Do you love Santa Claus?”, “What present would you like to get from Santa?”, “Have you written a letter to Santa Claus?” etc. Then, focus on the vocabulary items to be mentioned in the song: Santa Claus, reindeer, sleigh, Christmas Eve, present, Christmas tree, elf, sack, milk, cookie, Merry Christmas. Present and drill these words by using the flashcards and / or rhythmical clapping [elf, sack, milk (clap one half note, ta-ah), sle-igh, pre-sent, coo-kie (clap two quarter notes, ta ta), re-in-deer, Christ-mas Eve, Christ-mas tree, Santa Cla-us (clap two quarter notes and one half note, ta ta ta-ah), Me-rry Christ-mas (clap four quarter notes, ta ta ta ta)]. Sketch a happy face on the board to teach Ss the meaning of joy and happiness. Tell Ss that they will sing a song in which they will express their love to Santa Claus, as well as describe how Santa comes to town with a sack full of presents the elves have previously made and how happy the children are when they get their presents and find out that Santa has eaten the cookies as well as drunk the milk they had left for him. Play the song on the piano. Ask Ss to i) stand up and move to the rhythm of the music ii) put the flashcards in the correct order based on the song iii) dramatise the song iv) sing the song and clap their hands (4 quarter notes per measure, ta ta ta ta)
Stage 3 – Incorporating percussion instruments into our activities & practising rhythmical patterns
Divide the class into groups and give them the percussion instruments they are going to use in this song (Always give instructions by following the procedure of Lesson 1 Stage 3). Group A beats 2 half notes per measure using their triangles (ta-ah ta-ah), Group B beats 4 quarter notes per measure using their jingle sticks (ta ta ta ta), Group C beats “2 quarter notes, 1 half note” per measure using their bells (ta ta ta-ah). Practice separately and then altogether as a band. Last, ask Ss to play and sing the song as much as they can.
Stage 4 – Follow-up activities
Ask Ss to make Christmas cards by using drawings, cardboard, glitter glue, stickers etc. While making their cards, Ss could be listening to popular English Christmas songs (e.g. Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Jingle Bells, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Silent Night etc). In the end, Ss exchange their cards and wish each other “Merry Christmas”. Alternatively, Ss could be decorating their classroom while listening to music and / or dancing. Ask Ss to sing goodbye to Mrs Mary (see Lesson 1 Follow-up) and wish her “Merry Christmas”.












Πέμπτη, 4 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Rhythm basics and rhythmical clapping

It's been a while since I last posted something and what came to my mind this morning was that it would be really useful for you if I wrote something more about rhythmical clapping.
What follows is actually a Music lesson, yet as "One Two Red Balloon - Let's play music and learn English!" attempts to combine the subject of English with the subject of Music, I think that anyone interested in using it, should familiarise themselves with the basics of Music theory and particularly speaking, with RHYTHM!

To begin with, let's have a look at the table below that is an introduction to rhythm.


As you can see, there are some terms like whole note, half note, quarter note and eighth note. These terms are actually called music values. What a music value expresses is duration, that is to say, how long a sound should last. 

A whole note is equal to four beats. In other words, we clap our hands once and we say ta-ah-ah-ah.
A half note is equal to two beats. In other words, we clap our hands once and we say ta-ah.
A quarter note is equal to one beat. So, every time we have a quarter note we clap our hands, one clap for each quarter note and we say ta.
An eighth note is equal to one half of a beat, ti. In other words, two eighth notes are equal to one beat or a quarter note. So, when we have a pair of eighth notes, we clap our hands for each eighth note and say ti-ti. Eighth notes are faster than quarter notes! Imagine that when we have quarter notes we walk, whereas when we have eighth notes we run!

Now, how can all this information help us when teaching pre-schoolers English? Of course, you shouldn't burden yourselves with the terms, but you should definitely be able to practise rhythmical patterns when it comes to introducing new words by means of rhythmical clapping.

For, example let's have a look at the lyrics of the song "One Two Red Balloon"

One, two, red, balloon,
three, four, white horse,
five, six, yellow ship,
seven, eight, blue train,
nine ten, grey hen!

The first thing you should keep in mind is that rhythmical clapping does actually follow the number of syllables each word has.
For example, in the lyrics above there are one-syllable words like one, two, red, three, four, horse,  sixship, blue, ten and hen. In order to clap these one-syllable words and drill them with the Ss we can either use quarter notes (ta) or half notes (ta-ah). I prefer half notes because they are slower and longer and hence, the words can be articulated much more clearly.
Apart from one-syllable words, there are also two-syllable words like balloon, white, five, yellow, seven, eight, train, nine and grey. In this case, we will clap one quarter note (ta) for every syllable and consequently, two quarter notes for every word. Of course, there will be differences in terms of word stress but this shouldn't worry you. 

Now, let's have a look at how the One Two Red Balloon song would be performed with rhythmical clapping.

ta-ah, ta-ah, ta ta ta-ah
ta-ah, ta-ah, ta ta ta-ah
ta ta ta-ah, ta ta ta-ah
ta ta  ta ta, ta-ah ta ta
ta ta ta-ah, ta ta ta-ah

or for music economy and expression reasons,

ta-ah, ta-ah, ta ta ta-ah
ta-ah, ta-ah, ta ta ta-ah
ta-ah, ta-ah, ta ta ta-ah
ta ta  ta-ah, ta-ah ta-ah
ta ta ta-ah, ta ta ta-ah

You can practise rhythmical clapping further with the rest songs of "One Two Red Balloon - Let's play music and learn English!" but also with any song you like! 

For more help, you can also watch the following excellent videos concerning rhythm that I found on youtube :)











Παρασκευή, 18 Ιουλίου 2014

Some advice on the percussion instruments' stage of "One Two Red Balloon"

From my teaching experience I have realised that nursery students find it difficult to practice various rhythmical patterns at the same time. As a result, if your students managed to keep a steady beat while singing and playing their percussion instruments that would be fine! However, you can try and practise all rhythmical patterns mentioned in a lesson separately and only for fun! What matters is to motivate early learners and make them love English and Music!
Yet, as One Two Red Balloon is about teaching English at a pre-writing, pre-reading level, it can be used by anyone teaching in the 1st and 2nd grade of Primary School. In this case, you won't have any problems with the group work in the percussion instruments stage.
You can also cooperate with the Music teacher or Drama teacher at your school and perform some of the songs at a school event. For example, you can put on a show about the 4 Seasons based on the relevant lessons.  As you will see, the music of Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer has the form of variations of the same theme and that's because when I wrote them I was thinking of them as a whole.
Please, don't hesitate to ask me anything you want and if you ever use some of this material, I would be happy to learn how things went.
Above all, adapt the material to your students' needs and don't stick to the book!

Πέμπτη, 10 Ιουλίου 2014

Lesson 16: I'm a musician

I'm a musician,
I play the piano,
I play the violin
and the guitar too!
I'm a musician,
I play the trumpet,
I play the flute
and the drums too!
Music, music, I play music! (x2)
Stage 1 – Brief Revision
Revise the previous lesson briefly following the procedure of Lesson 3 Stage 1 (here revise Happy Birthday, (birthday) cake, to blow out candles, to open presents, to make a wish, party, to dance)
Stage 2 Vocabulary focus i) MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: piano, violin, guitar, trumpet, flute, drum ii) PROFESSIONS: musician iii) VERBS: to play
Prepare flashcards and finger puppets at home that depict musical instruments piano, violin, guitar, trumpet, flute, drum. Present the flashcards to Ss, use L1 and ask them: “What can you see in the pictures?”, “Can you play any musical instruments?”, “What is your favourite musical instrument?”, “What musical instruments are there in our classroom?”. The last question will give you the chance to revise the percussion instruments Ss can play (maracas, tambourine, sticks, jingle stick, scraper, bells etc). Present and drill vocabulary items concerning musical instruments in English by using the flashcards and / or rhythmical clapping [ pia-no, gui-tar, trum-pet (clap two quarter notes, ta ta), flute, drum (clap one half note, ta-ah), vi-o-lin (clap three quarter notes, ta ta ta) ]. Make a recording of the sounds of these musical instruments or find one on the Web and play it in the classroom. Ask Ss to recognise the sounds of each musical instrument and label it in English e.g. Ss listen to a piano piece and shout “piano”. Ask Ss if they know how we call somebody that plays music professionally. Ss answer in L1 and then, you present them with the flashcard depicting a musician. Present and drill the word musician by using the flashcard and rhythmical clapping [ mu-si-cian (clap three quarter notes, ta ta ta)]. Next, tell Ss that they will learn a song about the musical instruments a musician can play. Play the song on the piano. Ask Ss to i) stand up and move to the rhythm of the music as if they played the musical instruments mentioned in the song ii) raise the correct flashcard or finger puppet of the musical instrument which is heard in the song iii) sing the song focusing on the words piano, violin, guitar, trumpet, flute, drums. In other words, you can pause before some words and wait for the Ss to say the word missing e.g. You play “I'm a musician, I play the______”, you pause and show Ss the piano flashcard. Ss shout “piano” and you continue with the following sentence of the song in the same way iv) clap their hands (4 quarter notes per measure, ta ta ta ta)
Stage 3 – Incorporating percussion instruments into our activities & practising rhythmical patterns
Divide the class into groups and give them the percussion instruments they are going to use in this song (Always give instructions by following the procedure of Lesson 1 Stage 3). Group A beats 2 half notes per measure using their bells (ta-ah ta-ah), Group B beats 4 quarter notes per measure using their jingle sticks (ta ta ta ta) and Group C beats “1 quarter note, 2 eighth notes, 1 half note” per measure using their sticks (ta ti-ti ta-ah). Practice separately and then altogether as a band. In the end, ask Ss to play and sing the song as much as they can.
Stage 4 – Follow-up activities
Ask Ss to make their own percussion musical instruments by using everyday household materials such as cans, boxes, paper, glue, beans, rice, lentils, coloured pencils etc (You can find useful information about making percussion instruments with household materials on the Web). During this activity, Ss could be listening to music (e.g. Ravel “Bolero”). In the end, ask Ss to sing goodbye to Mrs Mary (see Lesson 1 Follow-up).
























Lesson 15: Happy Birthday, Mrs Mary!

Happy Birthday, Mary!
We've got a cake for you!
Please, blow out your candles
and make a wish too!
Happy Birthday, Mary!
Open your presents now!
Tonight it's party time,
come on kids, let's dance!
Happy Birthday, Mrs Mary!

Stage 1 – Brief Revision
Revise the previous lesson briefly following the procedure of Lesson 3 Stage 1 (here revise: corn, potato, green beans, green peas, onion, pepper, tomato, cucumber, salad, cheese )
Stage 2 Vocabulary focus i) BIRTHDAY: (Happy) Birthday, (birthday) cake, candle, present, wish, party ii) VERBS: to blow out, to make a wish, to open, to dance
Prepare flashcards and finger puppets at home that depict birthday. Present the birthday flashcards to Ss, use L1 and ask them: “What can you see in the pictures?”, “When is your birthday”, “Do you like birthday parties?”, “Do you like birthday cakes?”, “What comes to your mind when you think of birthdays? (elicit party hats, noise makers, balloons, birthday cards, clown, birthday cake, candles, presents)”, “Is there a birthday song in your country? If yes, can you sing it now?”. The last question will give you the chance to teach them the “Happy Birthday to you!” song. Present and drill vocabulary items concerning birthday birthday, birthday cake, candle, present, party by using the flashcards and / or rhythmical clapping [ birth-day, ca-ke, can-dle, pre-sent, par-ty (clap two quarter notes, ta ta), ha-ppy birth-day, birth-day ca-ke (clap four quarter notes, ta ta ta ta)]. Then, use mime to teach Ss the meaning of the verbs / expressions to blow out, to make a wish, to open, to dance. Tell Ss that because today it's Mrs Mary's birthday, they should learn a new song and wish her Happy Birthday. Play the song on the piano. Ask Ss to i) stand up and move to the rhythm of the music ii) raise the correct finger puppet of the birthday word heard in the song iii) put the birthday flashcards in the correct order based on the song iii) sing the song and clap their hands (6 eighth notes per measure, ti-ti-ti ti-ti-ti)
Stage 3 – Incorporating percussion instruments into our activities & practising rhythmical patterns
Divide the class into groups and give them the percussion instruments they are going to use in this song (Always give instructions by following the procedure of Lesson 1 Stage 3). Group A beats 6 eighth notes per measure using their sticks (ti-ti-ti ti-ti-ti), Group B beats 2 one-dotted quarter notes per measure using their bells (ta-i ta-i), Group C beats “1 quarter note, 1 eighth note, 1 quarter note, 1 eighth note” per measure using their tambourines (ta ti ta ti). Practice separately and then altogether as a band. Last, ask Ss to play and sing the song as much as they can.
Stage 4 – Follow-up activities
Ask Ss to make birthday cards for Mrs Mary by either drawing them or downloading them from the Web and wish her Happy Birthday. Alternatively, you could throw a birthday party for Mrs Mary. Ss will ask her to blow out her candles (Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday, Mrs Mary! Happy Birthday to you!) and make a wish. They will give her some drawings as a birthday present and they will dance and eat some cake, sweets, snacks as well as drink juice or soft drinks. Ss could be listening to party music and interact with Mrs Mary the puppet. In the end, ask Ss to sing goodbye to Mrs Mary (see Lesson 1 Follow-up).
















Lesson 14: Let's make a salad!

Let's make a salad with
corn and potatoes!
Let's make a salad with
green beans and peas!
Let's make a salad with
onions and peppers,
tomato, cucumber
and white cheese!
Stage 1 – Brief Revision
Revise the previous lesson briefly following the procedure of Lesson 3 Stage 1 (here revise: toy, model car, model truck, teddy bear, doll, toy blocks, puzzle, numbers 6-10)
Stage 2 Vocabulary focus i) VEGETABLES: corn, potato, green beans, green peas, onion, pepper, tomato, cucumber ii) FOOD: salad, cheese iii) VERBS: to make
Prepare flashcards and finger puppets at home that depict vegetables. Present the vegetable flashcards to Ss, use L1 and ask them: “What can you see in the pictures?”, “Do you like vegetables?”, “What is your favourite vegetable”, “How often do you eat vegetables and salads?”. Present and drill vocabulary items concerning vegetables corn, potato, green beans, green peas, onion, pepper, tomato, cucumber by using the flashcards and / or rhythmical clapping [corn (clap one half note, ta-ah), green beans, green peas, pe-pper, sa-lad (clap two quarter notes, ta ta), po-ta-to, o-ni-on, to-ma-to, cu-cum-ber (clap three quarter notes, ta ta ta)]. Use mime to teach Ss the meaning of the verb to make (a salad). Revise the meaning of the word cheese by asking them to tell you which animal they have already learnt eats cheese (mouse). Then, practise vegetables further by presenting Ss with some pictures depicting salads and by asking them to recognise what kind of vegetables the salads are made of. Tell Ss that they will sing a song in which they suggest making a salad with various vegetables. Play the song on the piano. Ask Ss to i) stand up and move to the rhythm of the music ii) raise the correct flashcard or finger puppet of the vegetable that is heard in the song iii) put the vegetable flashcards in the correct order based on the song iv) sing the song and clap their hands (3 quarter notes per measure, ta ta ta)
Stage 3 – Incorporating percussion instruments into our activities & practising rhythmical patterns
Divide the class into groups and give them the percussion instruments they are going to use in this song (Always give instructions by following the procedure of Lesson 1 Stage 3). Group A beats 1 one-dotted half note per measure using their scrapers (ta-ah-ah), Group B beats 3 quarter notes per measure using their sticks (ta ta ta) , Group C beats “1 half note, 1 quarter note” per measure using their jingle sticks (ta-ah ta). Practice separately and then altogether as a band. Last, ask Ss to play and sing the song as much as they can.
Stage 4 – Follow-up activities
Ask Ss to draw a salad by using some of the vegetables they have just learnt. While drawing, Ss could be listening to music ( e.g. Eleni Karaindrou “The Wedding Waltz”). In the end, Ss vote for the best drawing. Alternatively, Ss could play a variation of the “Guess Who” game. One S at a time chooses a vegetable from the ones above and the rest of the class tries to discover it by asking him / her questions e.g. Is it yellow / red / yummy? etc. Ask Ss to sing goodbye to Mrs Mary (see Lesson 1 Follow-up).