Grade: Elementary
Subject: Music

#2685. using giant poles for a music lesson

Music, level: Elementary
Posted Sun Sep 8 03:14:41 PDT 2002 by keanja (
relief teacher, australia
Materials Required: 4 long poles. 3 pieces of blue fabric. 6 balloons and streamer tails. 2 plastic balls. Rhythm cards.
Activity Time: 30-40 mins
Concepts Taught: Beat and Rhythm.

There are 4 sections to this lesson.
Each is designed to help children work together and feel the beat and rhythm in their bodies.
The ideas are based around the use of giant cardboard tubes that I found in a recycle shop, but you could try dowling or curtain railing perhaps.

Here are the 4 activities:
1) Walking together between the poles to a beat.
(Some children tap poles on the ground. The rest of the class walks between and freezes after each given rhythm.)

2) Use the poles as oars. Swing back and forward to a beat. Other children wave the blue fabric (to represent the sea) in between the poles in time to the beat.
Then a third group go under the "sea" of fabric with fish made from balloons and streamer tails. Draw faces on the balloons with permanant texta.
The fish dance to the music. Then place fish on top of the fabric. All children wave the fabric to the tempo of the music at the time. The aim is to keep the fish on top without them falling off. Sometimes play fast, and sometimes slow. Try staccato to see if they can imitate the music with their bodies and jump. Can the fish still stay on there?

3) The third thing to try with the poles is a game Ive called "Bridges", where 2 poles are placed fairly close together and held by a child each end (at about waist height.) Then a plastic ball is placed on one end. As the music plays, one child lifts their arms to make the ball roll down the poles in exactly 4 beats. Have 2 teams. See which team can do it closest to 4 counts.

4) Another idea with the poles could be to make fences with them. The children have to go inside the fences and imitate the rhythms of different animals with their bodies. For example a tortoise could be a slow "Ta-ah Ta-ah" The other children could play this on an instrument. For chickens, they could try "ti-ti ti-ti ti-ti taa." (freeze at the end of each rhythm. For a horse it could be "taa ti-taa ti" etc. Show pictures of the animals.

Conclusions: Music is fun to make together. We all had to work together and co-operate to make the poles, fish, fabric and balls do the right thing. Different rhythms make us feel like moving our bodies in different ways. You can make beats and rhythms with things that you can find around your own home and neighbourhood.