- book: Meet The Orchestra by Ann Hayes (Harcourt Brace,1991; $15; paper:1995; $6)
- classical music cassette
- cassette recorder
- brown paper
Objective: Children will develop skills in creative thinking, cooperative play, music, writing, and language as they create an orchestra using things they have found and document the process.
In Advance: Send a note home to families explaining that children will be forming an orchestra using found objects that can create an interesting sound. Ask families to assist their children in finding something from their home or from nature. Remind families not to send in anything valuable or fragile.
1 Write the word orchestra on chart paper. During meeting time, ask children to discuss what they know about an orchestra. Record their responses on chart paper. Read the book Meet the Orchestra to your class. Then play a cassette of recorded orchestral music. Ask children if they can identify any of the instruments they hear on the tape.
2 Explain to children that they will form an orchestra and make a recording using instruments that they make from found objects. Tell children that you will be sending home a note to their families requesting that they spend time together hunting for something that will create an interesting sound.
3 Provide children with a cardboard box and art materials. Invite small groups of children to decorate their "instrument box." Invite children to assist in photographing the process. Explain to children that they will create a group mural documenting the process of their orchestra project.
4 Bring children together to share and play their instruments for each other. Provide children with time to create beats and rhythms together to develop their orchestra. Ask children to list the different types of instruments they have found. What are the similarities? What are the differences?
5 Assist children in developing a song to record. Children can take turns playing different rhythms. Invite families to attend a special party celebrating the "release" of the children's recorded music. Include a live performance by the children. Get families involved by inviting them to play their child's instruments and record the adults too!
Art: Invite children to create a group mural while listening to the recording of their found-object orchestra music. Provide children with a large sheet of brown or white paper and markers, Ask children to create a dance with their hands while moving the markers across the paper.