“Playground Melodies” and “Bluebird” are two fun, game-oriented lessons that I use with my younger students to begin to develop pitch sensitivity and note reading skills as well as singing and performing melodies. I begin the lessons in 1st grade, but they are suitable for pre-k through 3rd depending on when your curriculum begins.
The lessons are developed gradually throughout the year, starting with getting the students up on their feet and moving while listening, then singing, reading, and performing on instruments.
Included are 44 pages of instructions and print-outs; everything you need to teach the melodies and games. MP3 files of every melody are included as well.
Also included is a series of age-appropriate assessments that can be given for data collection and student growth surveys.
Vocabulary: Pitch, high, low, melody, line, up, down, across, staff, repeat, step, hop, leap, lyrics
Some of my curriculum objectives covered are:
• Students will be able to identify and categorize sounds
in music as high or low and be able to describe how
they are different
• Students will be able to classify various sounds
as “long” or “short
• Students will be able to describe movement in melody
as “going up” or “going down”
• Students will be able to read, write and perform
rhythmic patterns using quarter notes and sixteenth
• Students will be able to read melodic phrases and
identify melodic movement of repetition, steps, and
• Students will be able to sing melodies that move in
skips and with repeated notes
• Students will be able to identify upward, downward and
lateral movement in written music
• Students will be able to listen to notes and identify
as “same” or “different” and as moving “higher”
These are some of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards that are covered as well:
1.1 The Creative Process: All students will demonstrate an understanding of the elements and principles that govern the creation of works of art in dance, music, theatre, and visual art.
Explore the elements of music through verbal and written responses to diverse aural prompts and printed scores.
Identify musical elements in response to diverse aural prompts, such as rhythm, timbre, dynamics, form, and melody.
Identify and categorize sound sources by common traits (e.g., scales, rhythmic patterns, and/or other musical elements), and identify rhythmic notation up to eighth notes and rests.
1.3 Performance: All students will synthesize those skills, media, methods, and technologies appropriate to creating, performing, and/or presenting works of art in dance, music, theatre, and visual art.
Clap, sing, or play on pitch from basic notation in the treble clef, with consideration of pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and tempo.
Demonstrate developmentally appropriate vocal production/vocal placement and breathing technique.
Demonstrate correct playing techniques for Orff instruments or equivalent homemade instruments.
1.2 Aesthetic Responses & Critique Methodologies: All students will demonstrate and apply an understanding of arts philosophies, judgment, and analysis to works of art in dance, music, theatre, and visual art.
Observe the basic arts elements in performances and exhibitions and use them to formulate objective assessments of artworks in dance, music, theatre, and visual art.
Apply the principles of positive critique in giving and receiving responses to performances.