The black cat strut is not my own activity. It comes from 88 Piano Keys. My students enjoyed it so much this year, I wanted to remember it, plus a few notes from my experience.
- As she recommends, I didn’t show my students anything. It was entirely done by memory and ear.
- For the youngest students, you can give them just three melody notes: C, D, E.
- More advanced students can handle all the ones she mentions in the instructions.
- If the student hasn’t learned dotted quarter note rhythms yet, just explain the left hand pattern as a dotted half note and a quarter note.
- I don’t have iRealPro, so I didn’t use her recorded drum beat. It’s a great improv even without it.
The specific board I use for this game is created by Hatch Patch Creations. It is intended for a church lesson on honesty for kids, and I did originally use it for exactly that purpose. But I am all about repurposing, so here it is again in a different form.
What You Need:
- A printable spider board game
- Basically, it just needs a spider web and some numbers going around it. See the picture below.
- A few plastic spiders
- Mine were rings in a previous life
- Two small items to use as game markers
- Flashcards for whatever you want to drill
- Place your game markers in the middle of the web. The goal is to escape it.
How to Play:
- Have the student place the plastic spiders on any numbers they choose.
- The student rolls the die. In order to advance, they need to correctly answer a flashcard. If they get it wrong, they stay where they are.
- The teacher takes a turn. Repeat.
- Whenever anyone lands on a number with a plastic spider, that is a wild space which could mean different things, such as:
- Double or nothing: move forward twice
- Teacher loses a turn
- Go back to start
- Write your own flashcard
- I was drilling rhythms, so my spiders meant you had to write your own rhythm.
- Whoever escapes the web first wins.
- To make it easier or harder, just vary your flashcards.
- To make it shorter, declare whoever is ahead the winner.