Friday, April 11, 2014

Inductive Learning in the Music Room - Common Core Strategy!

Inductive Learning is one of six essential strategies presented in The Core Six by Silver, Dewing, and Perini.

The basis of the strategy involves students grouping items before the lesson, making predictions based on the groups, and then evaluating their predictions based on the lesson. 

For the music room, I decided to try this with my second grade classes for learning about the instruments of the orchestra. 

To prepare, I made cards with a picture of each instrument and the instrument name. I laminated them and put magnets on the back. (I get business card size adhesive magnets from Staples.) 

As students entered I gave them an instrument. To make the groups, I held up an example card and had them evaluate if their instrument should go with mine. The easiest ones to start with were the brass instruments. These students came up to the board and I asked this group, "Why do these instruments go together." They made some great observations including size, color, shape, valves, and mouthpieces. The group put theirs on the board and I labeled the group with its name.

Once all the groups were on the board I asked the students to think about what they thought the group would sound like. Soft or loud, fast or slow, like a party or like a lullaby. I gave them lots of options and words to use to form guesses. I wrote the guess on the board in black. After someone made a guess I told the class to listen to see if they agreed or disagreed.

With my iPad mirrored to the AppleTV (you could also just plug the iPad into some speakers), I played the instrument families sections on the app Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. After each prediction, I played the section, and the students gave evidence that agreed or disagreed. I wrote this on the board in green for agree and red for disagree.

While we were listening I had the students move to the music, one distinct movement for each instrument family. After the agree/disagree discussion was finished I then played the recording of the piece showing the video so the students could see the instruments we just heard being played. While they were listening, they showed me what they heard by moving for that instrument family's movement.

The children came up with some great observations about the instruments before they even heard what they sounded like! predicting what the instrument family groups would sound like was a little hard due to limited language. 

The kids really liked it and it was a fun way to introduce the orchestra!