High-Low Manipulatives, Games, Songs and Activities

In our Kodaly levels classes, Lois Choksy taught that children may not be able to pitch match either because of production or perception problems.  Production problems occur when children get stuck in chest voice or they simply haven't experienced head voice.  Perception problems require assessment of whether the child can "hear" the pitches that they are supposed to match.  Checking whether or not children can tell if a sound is high or low is one way to assess their perceptive ability.

First of all, you need to help the children understand the meaning of high and low.  High and loud are often confused.  Kids hear parents say, "Turn the TV higher" when they mean "Turn the TV louder."

In Musicplay K-1 a variety of songs and activities help to define high-low.  Song #2, Mountaintop Monster has the children rapping in a low voice and then in a high voice. The GREAT BIG monster is the low voice and the teeny tiny monster is the high voice.  (Teach or review that BIG instruments have low voices and small instruments high voices)  Experiencing high-low by chanting or rapping is a good first step towards perceiving high-low.

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(Slides can be found on MusicplayOnline as well as the Musicplay 1 Digital Resource)

We are posting the first 5 songs of each grade level as a "sample" of what is going to be offered on this website. The first time you sign up to MusicplayOnline.com you will get 2 weeks for free, if you have any troubles you can also send us an email at: Support@musicplay.ca

In the Listening Kit 1, environmental sounds are played and the children try to identify them and decide if they are high or low.  The Listening Kit 1 Digital Resource gives you really nice projectables to do this activity with the students.

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To assess individual students ability to tell if a sound is high or low, you could give the students responders, play the sounds (in the Listening Resource Kit 1) and have them hold up the "high" responder if the sound was high and the "low" responder if the sound was low.  I'm going to copy my responders on different colored cardstock so that the high is one color and low a different color.  However, this photo of responders shows how easy it is to make them.  I'm going to post a PDF file of the highlow responder template in the Musicplay teacher's group on Facebook.  

Responder Example                                         High~Low Responder Template

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(You can email for the template if you don't have facebook.  I'm in Banff, but will answer emails!)

Our new site, www.musicplayonline.com will have many games and interactive activities to teach concepts.

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After you've taught the song, play the HighLow game! If your students have iPads, they can play the game on iPad. If you don't, you can play the game at your IWB, and students can hold up their high/low responder so you can assess if they are understanding the concept.

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Each of the games has a different theme. In this game, each time you get an answer right, the boy gets another balloon. If you get all the answers right, the boy floats away.

Summer is a great time to make manipulatives for the upcoming school year!  Summer newsletters will feature lessons using manipulatives to make for your classroom.  If you get an email requesting confirmation of your subscription, please click CONFIRM to continue to receive these great ideas and resources!


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