Saturday, January 31, 2015

Snowman Chords and "Let It Go"

Do you still have Frozen Fever? Most of my students, and some teachers, are still obsessed with Frozen!  (Theresa, I'm calling you out!) I saw a post by Dyan Robson using snowmen to build chords on a staff. I immediately saw an opportunity to teach a lesson using music from the movie Frozen. Her blog post can be found at this link.

A snowman is the perfect visual for a triad chord in root position. I created an interactive door display to get students excited about the lesson. I reused some decorations from my daughter's Frozen-themed birthday party. I traced Olaf onto a poster board using the projector and painted his outline. (At the party, he was used for a game of "Pin the Nose On Olaf".) The door engages the students to learn about the chords. They can quiz themselves to match the letter names to the snowman chords. They lift the flaps to check their answers.

I taught the chord lesson to my 5th graders. They reviewed note names by labeling the chords.
We reviewed the concept of major and minor by listening to some chords used in the song "Let It Go." The students played the chords on Boomwhackers, but I also played the chords on the piano to make it easier for them to hear. Even though I displayed the chords in root position, I added octavator caps to A flats, B flats, and B naturals.

The students were seated in a horseshoe shape and I distributed the Boomwhackers in order chromatically. The students were responsible for looking for their pitch name. Those students with chromatic Boomwhackers knew to look for both sharp and flat equivalencies. We practiced the chord progressions and then played along with "Let It Go" via a YouTube video.

I had to remind the students not to sing along unless they already had the song memorized. Often they would be busy trying to read the lyrics and missed their turn to play the harmony.

At the end of class, students completed an exit slip naming the pitches of some snowman chords.

My interactive flipchart is available for download on Promethean Planet. If you do not have an Activboard, the still images from those slides are available on Teachers Pay Teachers and included in a combo pack with the bulletin board printables and exit slip assessment.

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