will create a rhythmic pattern with sticks.
will create a chant representing the sounds of nature.
Many upper elementary and middle school students attend a week of
outdoor school. This idea
came from the naturalist at outdoor school, Camp Waskowitz, and is an
activity based on a game played by the New Zealand Maori.
There is strong connection to the kinesthetic arts in this
introducing this game, ask students to listen to the sounds of the
forest, the river, and the animals we were learning about at outdoor
students find sticks of similar size and length on their own, or use
rhythm sticks. We found our
sticks from a pile of detritus left by a recent logging of the site. If time allows, students can decorate them.
students in a circle or two lines facing each other. They will need a hard surface such as a table, the floor, or
(in our case) a log that is used for seating.
Have one student begin by beating a slow rhythm which their
partner (the one sitting in front of next to the student) will repeat.
the rhythm continue around the circle of down the line. While
maintaining the rhythm, click the two sticks together every few beats.
Keep the pattern simple at the beginning.
Try clicking the sticks against your partner’s or neighbor’s
between ground beats.
can vary the rhythm by speeding it up or slowing it down, adding
variations as they are able and willing, but always following the lead
of the first person. If
more challenge is needed, have a second person contribute a pattern to
the first one.
students are comfortable with maintaining a rhythm, add the chant.
This is where the nature sounds come in.
At the beginning maybe only one or two sounds can be added, from
a volunteer. Soon you have
a chant along with the rhythmic beating and clicking.
Doing this at outdoor school was ideal.
Students felt more comfortable in taking a risk than they would
otherwise in the regular classroom setting.
Making an effort to increase student learning by integrating music will help children gain meaningful context to their lives.