Pitch Lesson with Boomwhackers®: Five Little Pumpkins
October is by far my favorite month of the year! And Halloween ranks up there with Christmas and Thanksgiving as my favorite holidays!
In my Kindergarten and First Grade classes this week, we are using the song/fingerplay/story "Five Little Pumpkins" to learn about pitch. I use the version made famous by Raffi. Visit this site if you are not familiar with his version - complete with cute, fun animation!
My version of the fingerplay, with lyrics, and solfege is as follows:
Five little pumpkins (hold up five fingers) [d' d' d' ti ti]
Sitting on a gate ("sit" five fingers on your other forearm) [la la la la sol]
The first one said "Oh, my it's getting late" (tap wrist with one finger, like its a wrist-watch) [sol fa fa mi mi re re re re do]
The second one said, "There are witches in the air" (point in the air) [do re re re re re mi fa mi re]
The third one said, "But we don't care" (swat one hand down, as if you "don't care") [re mi mi mi mi mi fa sol fa mi]
The fourth one said, "Let's run, and run, and run" (pretend to jog) [mi fa fa fa fa fa sol la sol fa]
The fifth one said, "I'm ready for some fun!" (swing one bent arm, like a "jolly fellow") [fa sol sol sol sol sol sol sol la ti do']
"Oooooooo," went the wind (wave one arm over head) [sol do' do' do' ti]
And out went the light (clap on "out") [ti la la la sol]
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight (roll arms like "This Old Man") [sol sol fa fa fa mi mi re re re do]
Once we learn the fingerplay and can sing the song, we discuss the pitch of the song. I use step bells and Boomwhackers® to demonstrate how the melodic direction/pitch goes down, up, and down again. This is a continued discussion about pitch with my Kindergarteners and First Graders, but you could definitely also use this lesson to introduce the concept of pitch.
Boomwhackers® are wonderful teaching tools, especially learning about pitch because they're visual, hands-on, and lots of fun!! If you don't have a set or don't know what they are, visit www.boomwhackers.com and Music K8's Boomwhacker® central.
Here are some examples of my Boomwhacker® notation pages for "Five Little Pumpkins:"
You can go to my TeachersPayTeachers page to download the complete lesson file in either Flipchart format for ActivInspire/ActivStudio users (for Promethean Boards) or PowerPoint format.