Anyhow- luckily for me I signed up for some e-courses from Fairy Dust Teaching, one of which being a course on music in the classroom. It's geared toward early childhood- but after I watched the video on rhythm sticks last night, I saw my opportunity for adaptation for my second graders. Stopped by the music room this morning and asked a very surprised music teacher if I could borrow a set of rhythm sticks. I have now made a friend, I believe.
Not so lucky for me, it was a ninety degree day. But I persevered, and forced them and myself outside for half an hour of poetry workshop. We first practiced basic rhythm stick control, and then started practicing beating out the syllables to their attempted haikus from yesterday. Did they not jump on any line that did not have the right number of taps? Pretty incredible. Here's some shots from our sweaty delve into the musical arts.
Our sticks are "sleeping".
First position at rest
We practiced in the big circle all together for half the time, and then I told them they could spread out with a partner and work on writing a haiku of their own, now that they had a better idea of the syllable count structure. Things I noticed that changed from yesterday to today, was that a lot of them wrote down the 5, 7, 5 pattern on the side of their paper to remind them. I also saw lots of stick tapping, and fingers flying out to count syllables. They were starting to internalize. We also talked about how "interesting" words were always more than one tap. And they should try to fit in an interesting word whenever they could.
Tappity, tap, tap.
Proving it on the fingers.
He is tapping after he wrote to make sure it sounds right.
These two are having a very frank discussion on whether or not they have the right number of syllables in the second line.
That was my super teacher moment for the day. It all went down hill after that. But, take the joy in the small moments, eh? What did I learn from all this? My kids really liked using the sticks. How easy can that be for a brain break? Must add into curriculum for next year. Also, haiku are traditionally about nature- why don't I just teach this poetry form when I'm doing my animals and plants unit? They can use their non-fiction research information to create the poems. Connections, connections, connections. Would it work? Certainly, here's what one cherub wrote:
Flowers need water all day
Flowers need sunlight
I was proud of him. He's usually extremely squirrely, and today he just went off by himself and tapped the sticks and wrote this. First one done. He HATES writing time. But he liked the kinesthetic application. Score!