Submitted by Linda, Kentucky
Idea posted September 14, 2004
What works for me is to use the words "egg" and "broken" to teach ta and ti-ti. I have a rabbit puppet that hides eggs in backyards. (Students relate well to the story.) Sometimes the egg falls out of the basket and breaks. When broken, it doesn't magically turn into two eggs, it's just ONE egg that's broken. Students always confuse two halves of a beat with two beats. This helps them to distinguish between one whole beat and two halves of one beat. Each backyard gets the same number of eggs, and I have the students hide the eggs with me. (The students don't actually help me hide/find the eggs, they just pull the eggs out of the basket and play like we found them.)
Later, we break the egg into even MORE pieces - triplets and sixteenth notes. (I cut the eggs up, so visually I could show up to sixteenth notes.) The students are fascinated with the rabbit puppet and plastic eggs I use in front of the overhead projector. With the room lights turned off, it makes it more interesting for students to watch.
The lesson begins with a discussion about how many people celebrate holidays in different ways. Some do and some don't celebrate Easter, "If you do, that's okay. If you don't, that's okay...BUT since you've at least heard of the Easter bunny, just for today, play like we have a bunny that hides eggs in our classroom."
This is a method I've come up with over the years. We have fun with it, and students quickly become pros at sight-reading broken eggs. Later, we just change what we call them: ta and ti-ti, then quarter- and eighth-notes.
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