This is a FUN activity to do with 4th, 5th, or 6th grade (younger) students and a good cross-curricular music activity! I have loved doing this project with my 6th graders and they come up with some really outrageous stories, all while incorporating musical notation.
To start this project off, I will have students get in small groups, and see which team can come up with the most WORDS using the music alphabet: ABCDEFG, as possible. We then put them up on the whiteboard and see which words were commonly used and which new words each group came up with.
I then will read students a few examples of past 'Story Projects', where they make the connection that many of the words I am reading in the story are those words we just came up with in our recent activity! (If you are doing this for the first time and don't have any examples of student-made stories, make your own!)
We spend one day in class reading through the project, answering questions and showing examples. Students will be choosing 15 'music words' (using ABCDEFG) and incorporating them in any creative way into a made up story! I have examples of topics that some kids have enjoyed writing about in the past to get kids' interested and excited.
I give students in my class the option of hand writing them (spaced out paper is included in this packet) or typing them on chromebooks. If they type their stories, you might need to help them space our their stories so that the music word can eventually be glued in after putting it on the staff paper. In the instructions, I tell students they must use 15 different music words from my list, and the list they came up with in peer groups.
After students have typed/handwritten their story, I will show them how to put them on the staff (either treble or bass clef). We will do an example together in class, and it isn't difficult for students to do, since this is a project we will do at the end of our notation unit. (Students have already learned treble and bass clef, can read and write notes on the staff, we've done worksheets, played games, etc.) I do an example on the overhead, and then have them do a word on their own so I know that they understand how to do that portion of the project.
The final step after students have put all of their music words on staff paper is cutting them out and gluing them into the story. I will attach some pictures so you can see how finished products look. If students have time, I give them extra credit points if they make a creative story book cover.
The finished product is FABULOUS. I love letting the kids read their stories to the class on turn-in day. I have heard some scary, hilarious, adventurous, ROMANTIC, awesomely creative tales by kids. It's a super fun, cross-curricular activity that I have really enjoyed doing with my kids.
I know that is a lengthy description, so if anyone is interested in purchasing this project, I can explain anything that I might have left out. Hope you all enjoy! :)