Part 1 of this unit concentrated on John Kanaka. We moved, sang, changed bass notes, and even did some improvising. Check out the part 1 post here: Star Unit Part 1.
For Part 2 we are starting with a familiar tune, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I began by playing this song on my recorder and the students immediately recognized what it was. You could also sing it, play it on a barred instrument, or even on the piano; whatever your strength. Students and I discussed the form of the piece and concluded that that large form is ABA (with each section being 8 beats long). This form is going to become very useful in the upcoming days and lessons!
Once we found the form, I had students sing the song with me. Then we talked about the stars in the sky, especially the North Star. We connected this to our John Kanaka song, talking about how sailors use the stars to navigate, specifically the North Star. I showed the students a photo of the Big and Little Dippers, pointing out which part contained the North Star.
I challenged the students to find creative ways to make the “dipper” pathway with their own movements. I play the A section of Twinkle while they did this, basically giving them 8 beats to complete their movement pathway. Then we decided that the B section should be some different kind of movement, since it is a different part of the song. I encouraged the students to do something that was stationary, since we had been doing locomotor for the A section. Most classes chose to do some “star” shapes with their bodies. We then practiced performing this in ABA form, just like the song. I let each class choose if they wanted to sing while they moved or just have me play the melody for them.
Then during the next class, the students created their own movement sequences to different “star” pictures. I used some photos of constellations but also some prints of the night sky.
Students worked in their groups to create their own locomotor movement, stationary pose, and locomotor movement. This followed the form we had done before. Once students had completed their sequence, we shared them with each other. Here are some of my student’s examples:
Check back for the final 3 parts of the series, coming up soon!