Monday, August 26, 2013

Flashlights and Form

One of my favorite ways for kids to experience form is with flashlights!  When I teach ternary form to my little ones, usually in 1st grade, I do it in a unit that extends over several lessons.  I use the flashlights at the end of this unit so that they do not distract from the goal.

When we get to this final lesson, we create movement with the flashlights to accompany a familiar piece of music.  I have done this in two separate ways.

1.  All children perform the whole time.  They perform separate movements for the two sections in the music.

2.  Half the children perform during A while the other half perform during B.  Color coded flashlights help teacher to see whether or not students are able to hear the change in the music.

I have seen different ways to make colored flashlights but below is the way I do it.  The set of flashlights I use in my classroom have lasted me since my internship (7 years), so they are very durable (other than battery changes).

What you need
Don't forget batteries!

How to assemble
Cut off a piece of plastic wrap that is about 8" long.  It doesn't have to be exact.

Lay it out on a flat surface.  If some of the edges fold over no big deal.

Fold it in half twice so that you end up with a long skinny rectangle.  

Fold it in half the opposite way.

Fold it again to create a small square.

Place the flashlight on the plastic wrap square.  Using the electrical tape, tape down the corners of the plastic wrap.  Be careful not to seal the battery cage.  You want to be able to twist that off later.  If you have any corners of plastic wrap sticking out of the bottom, carefully trim them.  Or, suffer the consequences of little fingers later!  :)  

Finished product!

These are pretty easy to make.  They are a bit costly but they do last.  One of my all time favorite pieces to do flashlights with is Aquarium from Carnival of the Animals.  My flashlights are blue and green, so the light peacefully dances around the room and actually looks like moving water.  The kids are mesmerized by this. 

Rules for Flashlights:
1.  Flashlights stay off until you are asked to turn them on.
2.  Do NOT shine your flashlight in anyone's face.
3.  Do NOT poke the plastic wrap.

How do you think you will use flashlights in your room this year?


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