Last week in my EDCI 306A class (a methodology class for elementary school music) we taught a music lesson in groups of 6 surrounding a chant (image below) about rain!
My group decided to do a science/music cross-curricular lesson for a grade 2 class that would teach students how to use body percussion to demonstrate an understanding of precipitation & the water cycle. To start our lesson we would ask our students what different types of weather there are and discuss what the weather is like outside. Next, we would explore the 4 stages of the water cycle together, focusing on the precipitation stage. For the development of our lesson we would have our students demonstrate using body percussion what rain sounds like and then as a class integrate rain sounds using body percussion into the rain chant! For the closure of our lesson we would perform the rain chant as a group and discuss the remaining 3 stages of the water cycle. We thought that by having the students act out/hear different forms of precipitation with body percussion they could begin to understand and visualize heavy rain/light rain/hail/snow.
When we presented our lesson as a group to our class, we had not pre-planned who would say what and with a group of 7 this resulted in some of my peers not saying anything. I think that it would have been very beneficial to organize who would have taught which parts of the lesson before we presented it to our class. However, the lesson was not a total failure and our classmates seemed to react well to our lesson. They liked how we integrated science into the lesson while still teaching our students about music. It’s hard to say if body percussion really helps young learners visualize & understand the different forms of precipitation because our classmates already knew the answers. I think that we would have to teach in a real grade 2 class to know for sure if we created a successful lesson plan.