This week in EDCI 306A, we worked on collaborative integrated lesson and unit plans centered around the piece “Rain Chant”, from page 204 of Campbell, Kassner, and Kassner’s “Music for Elementary Classroom Teachers”. My group chose to create a cross-curricular unit plan focused at the grade 2 level using the Rain theme. Our activities included reading the book “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”, looking at weather patterns and researching rain and storms, making glitter tornado jars (also known as ‘calm down jars’), designing and creating rain sticks with members of the community, measuring and tracking the rainfall through graphic organizers, and finally learning and performing the Rain Chant using the rainsticks as the accompanying instruments.
It was great to hear the diversity of everyone’s ideas, and it was fun to see how excited we all were when we were able to connect another lesson back to the theme. This experience helped me to better understand the benefits of using music as a component of cross-curricular lessons, and I also really appreciated the other connections that we were able to make through these lessons as well. Our presentation went well, and although it can be difficult to present with larger groups, we all had a solid understanding of our unit plan and were therefore able to switch between presenters with ease.
For my practicum, I have been placed with Oliver at the Maple Leaf Foreign Nationals School (Downtown Campus) in Dalian, China. We will be teaching grade 1! We have had lots of communication with our mentor teacher so far, and although music will not be one of our direct teaching assignments, we will definitely look for ways to incorporate it into cross-curricular lessons for PE, Math, Drama, Art, and Language Arts.