As the new year gets under way, names can be an issue, especially for those of you working with transient populations. As I have stated in the past, I love doing name games in the beginning of year…and throughout the year for the little ones. Kids love the sound of their name and it helps connect them to you, as their teacher, as well as to what you are trying to teach them! This game is simple, fun and filled with endless possibilities for building important skills! Here are some ideas to get you started! (Each step can be done for days, weeks or until you feel they are ready to move on to the next step.)

 

  BEAT 1 BEAT 2 BEAT 3 BEAT 4   BEAT 1 BEAT 2 BEAT 3 BEAT 4
WORDS Hel- lo Hel- lo   How Do you do? ….
RHYTHM I I I I I M half
SOLFEGE Sol La Sol Mi Sol Mi Mi Sol
 
WORDS Hel- lo Kris- tin, its   good to see you.
RHYTHM I I I M M I half
SOLFEGE Sol La Sol Mi Mi Mi Mi Re Do
  1. Start off with singing it as is~ I use a fish puppet to sing it to the kids so that when they say their name, their focus is on the fish and not on the fact that they are speaking or singing by themselves!! I also tell them that they can shake a fin, if they would like!
  2. Sing, but elongate the “do” in the 7th measure. As you sing it, move your hands for as long as you sing it so that students can see the length.
  3. Ask students what you did differently. Encourage them to sing it and decide how long the “do” should be. They can move their body, as well, to show their sound.
  4. Now sing it, but sing the “do” very short and add a hand burst gesture to show this (hand starts off as a fist and immediately outstretch the fingers and thumb).
  5. What did I do that time? (You can add several short sounds, if you would like.)
  6. Have kids experiment with this ~ they can choose to sing a long “do” or a short one. (NOTE: Because it is a name game, you can have one kid sing a verse, choose a student, and then that chosen student sings a verse and chooses the next person, and so on…)
  7. After they master this, move it to drums or any other instrument. Have kids sing it and play it at the same time (using the above method so that each student gets a chance and plays by themselves).
  8. Then eliminate the voice and have kids look at the next student while drumming the syllables of the name. (This is great for getting kids to develop non verbal communication in an ensemble setting!!)

This is where I will leave it for now….I have some ideas of where to go next, but I want to hear from you! What are your ideas and thoughts on how to build on this? Leave a comment below!