As I was working on planning rhythm and movement activities for group lessons this month, I had the idea to tweak my usual (rather ho-hum) rhythmic dictation sheets and add a holiday theme:
Both of these songs use half, quarter and pairs of eighth notes. In We Wish You a Merry Christmas, students only choose between quarter and eighth notes. In Up on the Housetop, they choose from all three types of notes.
I worked with my students line-by-line as we completed these worksheets. First, they marched or swayed in place, keeping a steady pulse and listening as I played a line. Then they clapped the rhythm back to me as they continued to keep a steady beat in their feet. Next, they demonstrated the pattern of notes with actions for each note value (clap quarters, tap legs for eighths, stomp half notes). Finally I asked them to add Kodaly syllables as they went through the actions. Once they could successfully act and speak the pattern, they colored in symbols on the worksheet to represent the note values.