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Chicks News - 15th October 2021


This week was all about listening, sounds and music. Our topic book, Carnival of the Animals is part of the Story Orchestra series and the children adored listening to the pieces of classical music that accompanied the different illustrations in the book. One page featured an aviary and the music filled it with high notes. On another page a stampede of elephants was represented with sounds that were very low and deep.


We used the different musical pieces from the book during our Focus Time activity where the children used paint and brushes to make marks to the rhythm of the music. It was lovely to observe how their marks and strokes changed according to the sounds, speed and mood of each piece of music. In the fast pieces our marks tended to become more spiky and sharp and in the slower pieces they became softer and longer in shape.


In Maths we incorporated music and sound to support the Chicks counting skills. We counted a range of actions including claps, stamps and jumps and we also tried to keep a rhythm and beat. We also played animal sound bingo, which we found really tested our listening ears. The children linked the sounds to the toy animals and some of them used the bingo stampers to record what they heard on the animal bingo sheet.


During Art, the children made their own shakers by filling cups, tubes and small boxes with a range of dry food items such as pasta, rice and beans. We then listened to the different sounds these made and commented on the pitch, and loudness of each shaker. We also discovered that the rice shakers sounded like rain! We continued to be creative and experiment with objects in the Outdoor Learning Environment where the Chicks used pots, pans, and bowls as drums!


The highlight of the week however was our first school outing to our sister nursery Oaktree Nursery School where we attended an orchestral workshop. The children had the opportunity to learn the different names of a range of string, woodwind and brass instruments. We listened to all the different sounds individually and observed the differences between them. They reminded us of the different animals in our topic book and the musicians played the same songs for us. We commented that some notes were high whilst others were very low. The best part was when all the instruments played together and the Chicks were amazed at the effect of all the sounds being played at the same time.


After the musical performance we talked about the different materials the instruments were made of and we were allowed to touch the big tuba to feel how the sound vibrates. The musicians taught us how to conduct an orchestra and we moved our whole bodies to indicate the speed the instruments should be played at. We were lucky enough to listen to pieces of music by Rossini, Vivaldi and Ravel where we copied and clapped out simple rhythms and beats and had a lot of fun dancing together to the music. We were so proud of the Chicks for happily participating in the workshop and engaging so brilliantly in all of the activities.