Submitted by Carol Podwils, Bend, Oregon

Idea posted July 28, 2003

Let's see if I can describe the Monopoly bulletin board. I used color themes like a real Monopoly board and grouped symbols, etc. For example, all notes were together (Quarter Note Place, Whole Note Avenue, Half Note Avenue), as well as the rests (Quarter Rest Avenue, Half Rest Place, Whole Rest Lane); the treble and bass clef were the utilities; tempo, volume, tone color, and pitch were the railroads. All of the symbols and words were next to the Monopoly board on the wall, and as each space was landed on, the symbol or word was put by the space. I would introduce each symbol or word with a clip from the Music Factory video series that explained it. (I knew I had their attention then!) I also had four "?" spaces, which were four listening examples: Beethoven's "5th Symphony in C minor," Copland's "Hoedown," Mozart's variations on "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" (I used an excerpt from Dennis Kobray's video for this), and Joplin's "Entertainer." There were four "Monopoly Box" (Community Chest) spaces. I put these questions in a little Monopoly box I had found. The "Monopoly Box" was a potpourri of odd things, i.e. glass harmonica, What is a scale?, etc. The Free Parking space is just that, a week off and a review.

I made and laminated a little treble clef game piece. It moved each time we rolled a die, which was each week. Sometimes it didn't matter what we landed on, so I let the students roll. But if I really wanted a specific space, I "rolled" the die with a little slight of hand to get to the exact space I wanted. No money was involved, and the students were OK with that.

Instead of going to jail, we went to the symphony (the Dallas Symphony video), complete with tickets to get in and using proper concert etiquette.

I've found it worked well with all grades. It's exposure for the younger ones and hopefully reinforcement for the older. Students in grades 2-5 had a Monopoly recording sheet, and they wrote down the item and meaning each week, even the listening examples.