Like most of us, I love using picture books in my music classes. I love the book I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont.
I created a grade 3 composition unit similar to my Pete the Cat unit , based on Beaumont's book.
As a class, the grade threes took the reoccurring speech pattern and decided on a melody using solfeg.
I created a Smartboard file for us to easily explore different melodies and the class voted on each decision. We talked about contour, whether we wanted the piece to sound minor or major, and discussed composition guidelines in terms of phrase form, steps, skips, where we need to use the home tone, etc. You can download the Ain't Gonna Paint Smartnotebook File HERE for free!
In the story, the child paints different body parts while getting in trouble each time. In groups, my students created soundscapes using non-pitched percussion instruments to represent a certain body part being painted. Once they had something they liked, they needed to notate a rough draft using lines and shapes.
As an added step, I traced an outline of one of the students and cut it into body part pieces. Each group then needed to transfer their invented notation to the body part using paint, while thinking about colour and how it reflected the sound of their instruments.
Once the paintings were dry we pieced it all back together!
This unit is one of the more extensive ones that I do with students and it lasts a few weeks. You could easily just do parts of it, perhaps only the reoccurring part or just the soundscapes.
Students shared their final result with a school in South Carolina via Polycom video conferencing. It was so fun! The South Carolina school shared a story composition as well. Students also had the opportunity to share questions about one another. It was a great experience!