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  • Writer's pictureJenny Ferris


Today I'd like to talk about one of my favourite lessons I use with my Year 1 students who have got their heads around so & mi and are working towards discovering both saa (crotchet rest) and la.

One thing I love about the Kodaly methodology is the way it makes me look for connections between different activities in order to create a smooth transition, thus keeping my kids focused.

This pair of activities has a bunch of natural connections, both melodic and thematic, so they can't help but go well together!

I begin by teaching my kiddos the song "Tick Tock (Goes The Little Clock)". This is not to be confused with Tick, Tock (Ticka Tocka) or "Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock (Goes The Clock)" (though there's a great activity for that one in the video below:

No I'm talking about this one:

Tick Tock sheet music

The game involves students getting into groups of threes, which makes a nice change from the usual pairing up we do. One student is the cuckoo and crouches down on the floor while the other two join hands above the cuckoo's head.

Students swing hands back and forth in time with the music, dropping one hand to open up the doors of the cuckoo clock in the third line of the song. Then the cuckoo pops out and sings the fourth line by themselves.

We of course rotate so everyone can be the cuckoo (but also so that the kids can sing the song more often and get it really embedded in their minds).

After the game we repeat the song replacing the "cuckoos" with solfa.

This cuckoo so-mi association serves as a perfect link into this next piece of Art Music listening: Strauss' "Cuckoo Polka" !

I get the students to guess in advance how many times they think they'll hear a cuckoo in the piece. If you like, you can record these, almost like those "guess the lolly jar" contests!

Then, as we listen, they must hand sign "so-mi" every time they hear the cuckoo and I keep a tally on the board.

The closest guess wins some house points or a similar prize!

You can also check out this set from Mrs. K over on Teachers Pay Teachers for more activities to do with Tick Tock Goes The Little Clock

What other cuckoo-related repertoire do you love? Drop us a line and let us know!

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