Oh Freddie, I love you!
I used the Freddie the Frog books for the first time! I LOVE them! In September, I used Sharon Birch's first book in this series, "The Thump in the Night", to teach notes in the Treble Clef staff to my grade 3 students.
The series connects stories to musical concepts, making it much easier for students to remember. Each book focuses on a specific musical concept. "The Thump in the Night" focuses on learning about half of the notes in the treble clef staff.
Students learn about Treble Clef Island, where Freddie lives, and each character or landmark is found in a particular area on the island. Each character or landmark corresponds to a letter on the staff. For example Freddie's home is located on the most northern part of Treble Clef Island (where "F" on the line is located). We have also read "The Secret of Crater Island", which identifies the rest of the staff notes and D, C and B below the staff.
The series includes a teacher handbook with easy to follow lesson plans on how to use Freddie and the books.
I love using the Freddie the Frog puppet with the class as we learn through his stories! The kids LOVE him! I was concerned that they would be too old for this, but my grade 3 students really enjoyed pretending that he was real!
I also have Eli, Freddie's best friend, to help us with classroom activities.
After reading "The Thump in the Night" and "The Secret of Crater Island", and learning about the musical alphabet, students created their own Treble Clef Island maps. Although it was a fun activity, it took a really long time for students to make the maps! I will have to think of a way to simplify it for next year.
Click below for access to a Smartboard activity to prepare students for the Treble Clef Island art activity.
I hope you all try the Freddie books! They are such great fun and the students really remember the characters! I am looking forward to seeing how this helps their reading skills for grade 4!