Grade 5, Music Literacy Lesson #1

5th graders will jump right into the year with “Jump John Joe.” Double click on the picture for a larger view.

“Jump John Joe” will quickly review time signature, bar line,  bass clef, do, re, mi and fa, quarter note, quarter rest and eighth note.  5th grade has been reading these rhythms and tones for so long that we will begin by reading the rhythm without any sort of preparatory review.  They know what bar lines are.  I will put this song on the board without them, and have  the kids tell me where they go and why.  When we read rhythms we read through them using the Gordon syllables, (doo for quarter notes, dooday for eighth notes), then read and clap, and finally, clap while saying the syllables only in our heads.

When it comes to reading do, re, me and fa on the staff,  we will begin by reviewing all of the notes with Curwen hand signals. Please see for details.

We will identify which ones are line notes and which are space notes on the “Jump John Joe” chart.  I will identify do for them, and then point  to various notes and call on  random students to identify them.  The rhythm is so easy that usually they will read the tones using the correct rhythm automatically.   I only call their attention to the bass clef after they have sung the song, noting that, when using solfege the notes are sung the same way whether they are treble or bass, and that, in this case, the bass clef means only that the tones will sound low pitched.  I show them what I mean using the lower keys of the piano.  (This can be followed up later by playing recordings of various instruments and asking the kids to write T for treble or B for bass on whiteboards and hold it up.) Once they have read through it several times using solfege syllables, I will teach them the words by rote.

Game:  Number the students by 2’s.  Have the 1’s form a circle and then face outward.  Have the 2’s make a circle around them, each person facing a 1.  Have all of the students raise their left hand.  This is so that when the circles move, they’ll know which way to step.  The circles will move in opposite directions.

“Jump, Jump, Jump John Joe.”   Hop on each word.

“Take a little turn as around you go.”  Each student turns in a personal circle.

“Hop a little”   Students hop.

“Shake a little”  Students shake their whole body, arms and hands.

“Stamp just so.”  Students stamp their feet to the rhythm.

” 1, 2,3″  Students patsch, clap, patty cake partner once.

“And away we go”  Students take one step to the left and now have a new partner.

Once they have the hang of it it’s fun to speed it up.

Short and Sweet.  I’m happy to finally have a literacy lesson for each grade published.  Sometime soon I’ll start on lesson 2, beginning with 1st grade.  Meanwhile, let the summer continue!  :0)



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mistina
    Jul 25, 2011 @ 08:50:34

    Thank you so much for posting these lessons! I am a band teacher at heart, turned K-8 general music teacher and have been focusing on movement and instruments for the past two years. I wanted to move towards singing this year and your lessons have really inspired me to start planning for the school year. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


  2. Trackback: Here We Go Again « Tuesday Music

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