Submitted by Sandy Elder, Michigan

Idea posted January 11, 2002

Here are a few simple activities that have helped my kinders.

"Read The Kids"

Concept: reading notes left to right when notes don't go straight across

  • Have a small group of kids come to the front and line up with their backs toward the crowd. (This is important so it'll be left to right for them, too.)
  • Tap some to duck down, and leave others standing.
  • Go behind and tap their heads as the class says their names in order from left to right.
  • Repeat with others ducking/standing making a new pattern. Have students come be the tapper.
  • Make the connection: Some kids were high and some low, but they still were in the line and got a turn. Some notes are high and some low, but they all get their turn to sing.

"Connect The Notes"

Materials: legal size white paper, yarn, glue (or markers)

  • On legal size paper, write a couple measures of a simple song they know either on a partial or full staff. (Just note bodies - no stems.) Do include the treble clef or something on the left to show the beginning of the song. Don't forget bar lines.
  • Xerox enough for all kids to have one.
  • Using index fingers, everyone together connects the "dots" going from one note to the other, all the way across. Try again while the teacher sings, and again until everyone seems to "get it."
  • Using either markers or glue, connect the notes drawing a line from one to the other. If using glue, have kids add a string of yarn.

IMPORTANT: You'll need to be vigilant and on the lookout. INSIST they go from left to right. Stop any wrong-way snakes going right to left and redirect them. Have extra strands of yarn ready, so you can pull them off and begin again with a dry one.

Cover The Notes With Stuff

Materials: Xeroxed song written the same as above, wrapped candy, unwrapped cereal, glue, bingo chips, etc... Get creative.

  • Give everyone a ziploc bag with items.
  • First tap the notes together reading from left to right.
  • Repeat while the teacher sings. Repeat...
  • Take out one piece and put it on the first note.
  • Work across together.
  • Have the kids try it on their own. Again, WATCH to redirect anyone going right to left or jumping all over. Remind them "some are high, some low, but all take a turn."
  • Glue cereal left to right, lay candy left to right, whatever. Be sure they have some left to eat when done.

Hope these help your meandering readers.