Shake, shake, shake! That’s the sound you’ll hear coming from the PK classroom this week as children have been working hard to create instruments to play in a band. In noticing the children using classroom materials to create sounds, we asked them if they would like to make instruments. A resounding, “Yes!” was what we heard. Last week, this involved using toilet paper tubes, pipe cleaners, construction paper and buttons to make shakers. Students worked in the TinkerLab to cut out construction paper that was big enough to cover the tubes and then secured them by wrapping pipe cleaners around the circumference of the top and bottom.
On Monday this week, we brought in aluminum cans, glass jars, and cardboard containers. During Morning Meeting we counted out buttons, beans, and stones to put in the various containers. Upon shaking them we noticed that some sounds were “quiet” and others were “too loud!” When we asked the children why they thought this was, they not only compared the items inside the shakers, but also the type of material the shaker was made out of. We all agreed that what the shaker is made out of as well as what you put inside will cause the sounds to change. Children enjoyed painting, taping and constructing various types of shakers this week.
We also began talking about rhythm and how to keep a beat. We shook our shakers in counts of 2, 3, and 4, working to keep a beat together. We also used our shakers to “shake out” the sounds in our name for our greeting this week. We noticed that a lot of friends had two shakes in their name and few only had one.
When talking about our instruments the discussion often centered around “making a band!” One friend stated that, “A band is when a group of people play instruments that are different.” Another added, “You play on a stage!” We agreed we needed to vary our instruments and make some other than shakers. Upon looking at some nonfiction books about music and instruments we have found other types of instruments we can make such as a drum and chimes. We will continue this study into next week.
Meg Fitzgerald is the lead teacher and Madeline Wadington is the Apprentice teacher in the PK classroom at Bennett Day School in Chicago, IL.