(submitted by Chris)
This idea can be used on a bulletin board or anywhere else you have a long
narrow empty spot. At the beginning of the year I introduce my 2nd grade
students to Mr. Caterpillar. At this point he is just one colorful circle that
I have made a cute face on and added pipe cleaner antenna. I put him up on the
front left corner of my room over my bulletin board. Each week I add another
colorful circle which becomes his body, behind the head. I don't put them in a
straight row but up and down so it looks like he's moving. On the circles are 4
beat rhythm patterns. I start with ta and rest and by the end of the year we
are doing dotted rhythms.
I cut out about 20 different circles out of construction paper and had them
laminated. I then write the 4 beat rhythm patterns on white paper and tape them
to the circles. This way I can use them over and over.
There are many ways you can use Mr. Caterpillar. You can have the students clap
or play the rhythm on instruments. You can clap a rhythm and have the students
guess which circle you are clapping. You can have the students compose a short
song using the rhythms. Ths list is endless.
The students look forward to seeing what Mr. Caterpillar will look like each
week. The 3rd Grade students like to watch it too and they feel pretty proud of
themselves when they realize that they know all of those rhythms.
At the end of the year, usually when the 2nd Grade is working on their
butterfly unit, I take Mr. Caterpillar down and put up a beautiful butterfly
that I bought at a school supply store. The butterfly says, "Second Grade
students have become beautiful rhythm readers."
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