Thursday, November 19, 2015

The 2nd Graders Became Composers, Singers, Illustrators and Music Producers For The Winter Around The World Project With Cantata Learning

Last week as we got ready to Skype with the songwriter and illustrator of the Cantata Learning book, Winter...The Coldest Season of All, I looked up and noticed the reading lesson on the whiteboard in Staci Braun's 2nd grade classroom.

It was all about music, asking the essential question of What are different ways to enjoy music? 

This was the perfect tie in for what was about to happen that morning with the Van Meter 2nd graders in the music room, art room, library and classroom as they created their contribution to the Winter Around The World global project we are working on as a PBL project.

Students and teachers participating around the world are reading and singing Winter...The Coldest Season of All as a way to kick off the project.  All of the Cantata Learning stories are paired with wonderful music that will definitely inspire and engage young learners as they read, share, and create new understanding and meaning about a variety of topics. 

During our Skype last week, the Van Meter second graders sang for the other schools, songwriter and illustrator.  You could tell they practiced a was awesome!  

With the story about winter including new vocabulary and concepts, this can be a way to extend and enrich learning about seasons, community, weather and more.  
Our friend Kasey Bell created a magnetic winter poetry activity using Google Slides from the vocabulary words in Winter...The Coldest Season of All and the brainstorming Lynn Kleinmeyer's students did within Padlet in the library.  

You can read about this activity and get the magnetic winter poem here.   
The sheet music and lyrics are included in both the print and eBook. 
The music for each one of the Cantata Learning books is included on a CD in the back of the book.  It can also be played from the website, downloaded and purchased from iTunes.  

This gives our young learners so many ways to access the stories and music they love in the library, classroom and at home.  
With this being a project-based learning experience for the second graders, Tracy and Staci had their students choose the winter topics they wanted to focus on during the PBL, which also put them into self-selected groups.  
After the Skype, the music teacher Marsha Fries took the group composing new winter songs.

I went to see the three groups in action and was so impressed with what they had created.
They had used Winter...The Coldest Season Of All for their inspiration.
The students told me, " We read the words, listened to the song and looked at the pictures to help us write our new songs."  They couldn't wait to share them.  
I love how Marsha worked with them on the arrangement.  It was fun seeing this on their "sheet music" as they called it.  
When we started the project I created the Winter Symbaloo as a place for all of us to find resources, books, snowflake and winter digital activities and more. 
As part of our project, every school is going to create a piece of the global winter story that we are putting together in this Google Slides presentation.  It can be a story, poem, narrative, song, art work...whatever they want to create for the story.  

The Winter Around The World Collaborative Story can be seen here.  
To give everyone some ideas, I included several of my favorite digital tools that would be great to use when creating your piece of the collaborative story.  
The 2nd graders are going to use eduBuncee to create their winter story.  With Buncee they will add original art, add text, voice and music to the story.  

Just look how my sister Heather Fox is using it with her students for the winter project. 
They are creating beautiful winter illustrations to support their PBL for the class Buncee with the art teacher Cathy Robey.  
Within a Buncee, sound clips can be added using Soundcloud.  I love using Soundcloud because it is very easy to record on a computer or with the app.  Also, easy to embed and share. 
We recorded the groups with Soundcloud after they felt comfortable with the songs composed. 
You can listen to Winter Snowflakes....
and Christmas Lights.  

These will be used throughout the Buncee.  
Today the teacher librarian Kim James helped Marsha record the groups singing using an iPad and uploaded them to YouTube.  These can also be added to a Buncee.  

In the screenshot above you can see the pages on the left hand side which contain the videos and art work.  
On November 23, we are Skyping with Mark Oblinger who arranged and produced the book.  
After the Skype, we are going to use Beatlab to experience with creating music like Mark does.  
We can even upload the songs recorded in YouTube and Soundcloud adding their own "beats" or music over the top.  
To learn more about the Winter Around The World project, please visit our Tackk.  This is where you can sign up, find the Cantata Learning book and other resources online, and add to the collaborative winter story.  

We cannot wait to share the Buncee with all of you next week....and we cannot wait to see the stories, songs, poems, art work, and other creations your students create too.  

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