#6: Apple Tree

Ideas for the song Apple Tree: Podcast with strategies for teaching beat, melody, partwork, and more!

Listen to the podcast in the iTunes store, or here: 

Listen to these music education podcasts:

Notation for Apple Tree, Version 1:

Notation for Apple Tree, Version 2: 

Game: Students stand in circle, and teacher makes a tree with a child (the child stands inside the circle, the teacher stands outside the circle, and the two join hands.) The students sing the song and keep the beat in their feet. On the word “out,” the teacher and student who are the tree “catch” a child. That child then makes a tree with the student standing inside the circle, and the teacher chooses another child to be a tree with. The game continues until all but one child has been chosen to be a tree or is “out”; that student wins.

Kindergarten lesson ideas

  • Steady Beat:
    • Have students put beat in their feet as they play game
    • Have students point to beat poster or beat sheet (showing apples or heartbeats)
    • Have students play the beat on rhythm sticks or wood blocks
    • Have students play the beat on Orff instruments (D and A or D and D’)
  • Rhythm:
    • Have students point to the rhythm
    • Have students play the rhythm on egg shakers or rhythm sticks
    • Have half of the students play the beat while the other half plays the rhythm
  • Inner hearing
    • Use the “Donnie the Dinosaur” puppet
    • Check out this blog post with more inner hearing puppets

1st grade lesson ideas

  • Review steady beat
  • Ta and ti-ti:
    • Students read the rhythm
    • Students fill in missing rhythms (one missing rhythm each line)
    • Students arrange rhythm patterns (use five patterns, with one being the trick pattern)
    • Have students dictate rhythm patterns with popsicle sticks (like in this blog post)
  • Sol-Mi:
    • Can extract the first phrase to work on sol and mi
    • Sing with body staff or hand signs
    • Write pattern on hand staff or actual staff
    • Put pictures or words into shape of melody
    • Write pattern with solfa manipulatives (like in this blog post)
  • La:
    • Can extract the second phrase to work on sol, la, and mi
    • Same ideas as sol-mi

2nd grade lesson ideas:

  • Do:
    • Have students listen for lowest note in song (raise hand on lowest note, with eyes closed)
    • Have students figure out how to play on Orff instruments with stick notation (check out this post about centers for melodic intervention)
    • Same ideas as sol, mi, and la
  • Ostinato, learned from Tina Wilson:
    • Students play this four times, then students sing as ostinato is played (note: sixteenth notes are swung):
  • Sing in round or canon

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