Identifying Sol and Mi with Rain, Rain

by Abby @ Quaver on February 26, 2016

in At Quaver HQ

Today we welcome Sarah Jensen back to the Quaver Music Blog! Sarah is a wonderful teacher from Bismarck, North Dakota and a member of our Quaver Advisory Council. 

Take it away, Sarah!

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In the latest Quaver webinar, Quaver showed off the new Kodály-inspired activities in the ClassPlay song Rain Rain. I was so excited to see this because I sing that song (and a few variations of it) EVERY SINGLE DAY with my Kindergarteners as part of our vocal warm up.

Today in class, we used the INTRODUCE and IDENTIFY activities in Rain, Rain to really dig into the pitches of sol and mi.

The Introduce activity was a great way to set the stage for the meat of our lesson. I really like the way the screens build on each other to gently introduce the pitches sol and mi without labeling them too soon.

Here are a few of our favorite parts of the Introduce activity:

  • The kids loved coming up to my whiteboard and opening the umbrellas in the Tap the Umbrellas screen!

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  • On the last screen, Drag the Umbrellas, we had fun creating new versions of the song by placing the umbrellas in different boxes. What a great way to introduce improvisation, and also to serve as an awesome quick assessment!

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We were on a roll and thanks to Quaver, the kids were really feeling confident with singing sol and mi. Once my students felt comfortable with the melody, we began labeling sol and mi with the activities in the IDENTIFY tab.

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Using Rain, Rain to Identify and Label Sol and Mi:

The Identify activity is comprised of eight individual screens that work really well together! We easily clicked from one to the next and each had elements that had my students moving and interacting with the song both physically and aurally. 

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1) Tap the Raindrops

Just like the umbrellas, we start the lesson by students tapping the rain drops on the first screen and experiencing the pitches sol and mi. The students loved seeing the rain drops splash!

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2) What’s the Forecast?

After we finish reviewing the melody, What’s the Forecast? allows me to assess whether or not my students can sing and understand the difference between high and low pitches through a series of questions.

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3) Body Motions

Next, I ask my students to make up new ways to show high (sol) and low (mi) on their bodies. There are giggles all around, and I love it! The more they move, the more they retain!

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4) Name the Sound

The Name the Sound screen is very similar to the first screens, but allows me to introduce the concept of sol and mi where they previously only saw the lyrics to the song. I usually have students come up and tap the drops, while the others sing sol and mi.

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5) Introduce Sol and Mi Hand Signs

After singing the two pitches numerous times, I start incorporating the Curwen hand signs with the help of Penny Pianissimo – our favorite ClassPlay Kid!

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6) Skips & Steps

Skips and Steps is a great visual for my students! By dragging the girl and boy on to the steps, students can easily see that there is always a skip between the two pitches.

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Teacher Tip: At this point in the lesson, I like to use my box of finger puppets to create a song with sol and mi, and work together as a class to sing it correctly. It’s another great way to make sure your students understand the difference in singing each pitch.

7) On the Staff

I love using this screen to show sol and mi in relationship to each other on the staff. I can drag the notes to any spot on the staff, and my students can see the spacing between the notes and how the pitch is the same.

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8) Stick Notation

Stick Notation is a great way to quickly assess if the students understand the different pitches of Rain, Rain. I have students decide what the “s” and “m” mean, and see if they can correctly drag them to the solfège stick notation.

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And there you have it. By the end of class, my students are singing sol and mi and correctly identifying them in their favorite song – Rain, Rain!

Quaver has done an amazing job creating lessons that allow me to put my own Mrs. Jensen spin and set my students up to succeed!

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Have you checked out Rain, Rain or any of the other new Kodály-inspired resources in ClassPlay? How would you put your own twist on these activities?

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