Former abecedarian CC tutor (iijuan12), former history teacher, & currently a Christian homeschooling mama of 9 blessings
This is the plan I used while tutoring a Classical Conversations Cycle 1 Week 7 abecederian class. I have included all the subjects including new grammar, tin whistle, presentations, science, and review game. I also added my weekly parent email. This is not an official tutor plan. It's simply what I did. I'm sharing it so other tutors can use it as a springboard from which to plan your own lessons that are tailored to best meet the needs of your own class.
(Class set of trivium maps, dry erase markers, and small pieces of paper towels will already be at each seat.)
-Have the children use their dry erase markers to trace around the border of Africa and then erase them.
-Have the children put the caps on their markers and lay them down.
• Point out the locations on my map one by one. (I say, “Eyes and pointer fingers up” each time before I introduce the next location.) Each time have the children find the location on their maps using their fingers. They say the location, and I confirm, “Yes, that is…”. Repeat.
• Show me/Tell me the locations using a dry erase marker.
-Show me where [location] is. Put a dot on it. [Repeat this for each location.]
-Put the caps back on the markers, but don’t erase anything yet!
• Go through the locations with me while erasing locations one by one using the piece of paper towel. (Do them out of order.)
***Parent Helper: Collect markers and maps and return to tutor bag. Throw away paper towel pieces.***
- (*At home we’ll be learning the locations using the songs & hand motions by CCHappyMom.)
- I chant while children listen.
- Get Louder: Have the children chant it with me. Whisper it super softly. Whisper it a little louder. Say it loudly. Shout it. Chant it in a regular voice.
(*At home we’ll be learning this using the hand motions from thomandjody. The slowed down version is below. The video at speed with the CD is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXL6vnby6po .)
- I chant while children listen.
- Chair Chants: Have children stand up with their chair next to them and chant it with me. Have them step on to their chair & chant it. Have them step down from their chair & chant. Chant while standing in chair. Chant on ground. Chant while standing in chair.
*At home we learned this using the song by Heidi, posted below.
- Sing the history sentence while the children listen.
- Allow children to each roll the silly voice die* & sing the history song together using that silly voice: Squeaky mouse voice, sing it like a soldier, cowboy, stick out your tongue and sing it, butterfly whisper voice, & T-rex voice. (*I use a foam die from the Dollar Tree, put stickers on it [so I can change out the voices], & write on the stickers.)
• Sing through the song one time, laying the cards in order, face up on the table.
• Allow each child a turn to use a fly swatter to swat the individual timeline cards as we all sing the song together.
- Use Latin Llama with a 3 birthday candle, llama puppet, & snake puppet*. On her 3rd birthday, Latin Llama's friend, Hiss the Snake, gave her a birthday gift of various aces. Together they had fun playing “Go Fish!” together. Various, hiss, and ace help us remember how the 3rd declension noun endings sound! *To make the snake puppet, I printed off the image of Hiss the Snake from Robin Hood and made it into a stick puppet by taping the picture onto a craft stick. I taped a picture of aces (playing cards) to the snake puppet.*
(Idea came from CCC user rtseely)
- Go through each motion from Dana Johnson and then add one at a time, repeat with all before it. When we do singular, we’ll use 3 fingers on one hand. When we do plural, we’ll use 3 fingers on both hands. I say and then kids repeat with song and motions after each one.
- various – wiggle fingers like you have various ones
is: fingers in front of mouth like fangs: like the snake says hiss
i: like in knee, so point to knee ---start from beginning of singular
em –sign language m – take 3 fingers and fold them over your thumb-start from beginning of singular
e – like in net - toss fingers out and pull back in like you’re catching something with a net - start from beginning of singular
(3X and then sing “Singular Third Declension”)
Es – “ace” – so form body like capital A
um –like vacuum -start from beginning of plural
ibus – like you’re driving a bus – pretend you’re moving the steering wheel
es ---“ace” – so form body like capital A - start from beginning of plural
ibus --– like you’re driving a bus – pretend you’re moving the steering wheel -start from beginning of plural
(3X and then sing “Plural Third Declension)
- Sing without CD.
Note: I changed the e sound to be like a net rather than a gagging sound.
- Hear me sing and point to the 13s
- Let each child have a turn circling a number/equation on the board. After each time, sing the song in a whisper and shout the circled number(s).
- Note: Be kind to your neighbors. Temper the volume if your classroom has thin walls.
*Helping parent: Get tin whistles out of backpack for each child & help pass them out during step 4 (below).
Tin Whistle Introduction
- For the next 6 weeks we’re going to learn about our tin whistles. I know you are so excited about getting to play them! First let’s learn a little bit about them.
- [Show picture from Foundations Guide.] Parts of tin whistle: Barrel, Mouthpiece, Fipple, & Finger Holes (#1-6). The fipple is where a sharp edge is cut into the mouthpiece. When air is blown through the mouthpiece, it breaks against the fipple and vibrates, producing sound. The fipple restricts airflow – and that produces sound.
- The pitch is the degree of highness or lowness of a tone. [Use a high and low voice while saying that.] The pitch (sound) is varied by covering or uncovering the finger holes at different points on the barrel of the whistle. Let’s count the six holes. “Where’s the barrel?” [They point.] “The mouthpiece? The fipple? Hole number one? Hole number six?”
Tin Whistle Procedures
- When I am teaching, I am the conductor. Let’s practice. When my arms are out and open, you can practice making sounds. As soon as I cut it off (circle hands around and shut fists), you are to stop immediately or your tin whistles will go to jail. Let’s practice with your voices. When I hold up my arms, sing “Ahh.,” and when I close my fists, you’ll stop. (Repeat a few times.)
- Now it’s time to get your tin whistles. The tin whistles are sleeping. They are silent and still. If you move or touch your tin whistle, you will lose the tin whistle. [Point to tin whistle jail drawn on the board.] If you’re touching or playing with your tin whistle when you’re not supposed to be, your tin whistle will have to spend a minute in the tin whistle jail.
- Let’s practice positions: sleep (on floor/table. No touching), lap, chin (curve fits nicely on your chin), lip (whistle is in your mouth, but it is a ‘no blow zone.’ Do not blow!), and then play.
Cacophony & Symphony
- I’m going to give you a 30 second blow, but wait for my directions! Let’s see what you can do with that. Chin. Lip. Play. Stop. Lap positions. Sleep positions.
- What you just created was cacophony, a bad sound. [Show frowning face.] Cacophony is discord. It is noise, not music. Do you want to hear that discord all morning? I don’t. We’re going to try to not make cacophony when we play.
- [Show happy face.] Symphony is a good sound, harmony. We can create harmony by all working together and playing together and having our notes blend well together. It’s amazing how beautiful our music can sound! It means the melody and harmony all work together to make a really nice sound.
- *[Helping parent] is going to collect the tin whistles for just a moment to let them rest while we talk about how we know what to play to make harmonious music. [Helping parent should collect the tin whistles.]
Reading Music: Staff & Notes
- Let’s look at some music. This is our special paper we will use to write our musical song. Does anyone know what this is called? It’s a musical staff, composed of 5 lines [Hold up five fingers and point to them.] and 4 spaces [Point to spaces between fingers.].
- [Show the Foundations Guide.] Who can find the staff here? What else can you see on that staff? We have these little egg-shaped circles called notes. Let’s go through what each of these notes means: D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D. Do you see these pictures below each note? What do you think they represent? Yes, those are the finger codes. They show the holes that you will cover up on your tin whistle in order to play that note.
Form of How to Play
- When you play, your left hand goes on the top. “Tape on top.” [*Helping parent puts a sticker on the back of each child’s left hand.] Remember your tin whistles should still be in the sleep position.
- I’m going to now show you the form of how to play your tin whistles.
- Sit up straight so your air can flow. [Move your hand up & down over your chest.]
- Chin position. Hold your whistle at a 45 degree angle. Not down like this. Not straight out like this, but at a nice, gentle 45 degree angle. [Show your side profile.]
- Your right hand will be at the bottom. Your left hand will be at the top. Your thumbs will be on the bottom of the whistle, supporting it.
- Everyone put your hands up. Show me the pads of your fingers. Put your finger tips together [with arched hands]. This is what you don’t want to do. You want to be on your pads. [Press hands together] This is what you want to do. Do you feel those squishy things? They’re what you use to get fingerprints. Your finger pad part is what you want to put flat over the hole. Not like this [Show tip of finger over it.] because you’ll get all kinds of squeaky, off pitch notes. The way to make sure you’re doing it right is if you have this circle imprints on your finger after you play. We’ll call them whistle warts.
Getting to Play (Finally!)
- [*Helping parent can pass out whistles again.] I want everyone to place your tin whistle at chin position and push all of your finger pads down over the holes. Hold it tightly. Don’t blow! Make sure to have your pads nice and flat. Now release. Sleep position for your tin whistle. Look at your fingers. Do you have whistle warts? If so, you were doing it right! Good job!
- Run them through the b. Index finger of the left hand. This forms a b note. [Blow it for them & let them blow it.] If you blow too hard and loud, it will screech and get off pitch.
- When you go to lip or play position, you do not want to bite it. Do not bite on it and no straining with your lips. [Push lips down hard and make a funny noise.] Remember nice, gentle, and steady for a clear, round sound.
- Remember I am the conductor. Wake up those tin whistles and go to lap position. Chin position. Left hand on top. Flat fingers. Do not blow yet. Lip position. Play position, but don’t blow. Before you blow, let’s check where your fingers are.
- Let them play 3 b’s.
- Play the b note together for a sustained time to match. Stop. Who can play b the longest? Now play 3 b’s. Stop. Lap position. You just made beautiful harmony in b. [Smile nicely.]
- Now each of you will have a turn playing your b. “Let’s hear your b, [child’s name].” That was beautiful! Remember, not too loud. Nice, round sound.
- Show and play with left fingers 1,2,3, which is “Hot Cross Buns.”
- Now have fun practicing with your tin whistle at home. If you want to try to learn a short song at home this week, I'll set aside time each week for you to play a short song if you learned at home and want to play it for us.
(*The above script is a compilation of directions and suggestions from these YouTube videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVmTkRgRCww&feature=youtu.be , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFLcNEFg6dM , and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l94yJNlWUT4 .)
- Have children collect presentation items from the basket/table.
- Remind that when someone else is talking, children should: Stop, Look, Listen.
- Remind about presentations: Today’s focus will be: Expression. Make your voice interesting by varying your tone and volume and using pauses to enhance your presentation. What is today’s focus? [Remember to raise your hand to answer.]
- Each child gets 1 question token (a foam rectangle with their name written on it).
- Have children go in alphabetical order. (We rotate each week.)
- Next week's skill to work on: Posture: Upper Body: Stand straight, shoulders relaxed, head high.
- Return presentation items to backpacks.
Bathroom Break & Snack Time
Pray. Bathroom break. Get snacks from snack basket and have snack while listening to memory work CD.
- Introductory Bible Lesson from Ms. Whizzle: Did you realize God loves beauty? Just look around at the world around you! When you see the beautiful animals he created we can see that beauty is everywhere. As you see evidence of animals that God created, we can remember that God provides and takes care of all the animals He created just like He provides and takes care of us. In Matthew 6:26 Jesus tells us, "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"
- Let’s take a look at a poem from Emily Dickinson that shows some of the beauty of God's Creation. Read A Bird Came Down the Walk by Emily Dickinson. (I used Poetry for Young People: Emily Dickinson by Frances Schoonmaker Bolin (Editor), which includes a small illustration of a bird and beetle to accompany the poem.)
- As you spend time exploring God’s creation and studying it, you can respond to it by drawing it or even by writing poems about it just like Emily Dickinson did.
- If you can take a nature walk at your CC campus, you can use BINGO sheets created by users KnoxFamily or AmyNash.
- If you can't take a nature walk on your campus, have your students bring nature items them found at home in their yard. (The children brought feathers or cicada exoskeletons.) Allow children to show what they brought & tell us about each item. Ask if each animal was an invertebrate or vertebrate. Add any additional information you might know about those items. If desired, allow each child will select 1 item to draw.
- At home we have a nature basket that stores items of interest that my children find, so I brought that & showed the children what we have & let them touch them with 1 finger if they were delicate. We have snake skins, exoskeletons, butterfly wings, bird eggs, feathers. turtle shells, etc.
- Geography Fast Review: Hand out maps to each child. Divide up children among you & the helping moms so that you are able to each check specific child and what they are pointing at. Call out the geography locations from weeks 1-7. Have children tell me or show me locations using their fingers.
- Play-dough review time: The children sculpt with play-dough on sheets of wax paper (to protect the table) while I have them recite the memory work. Each child gets a turn selecting a subject (written on slips of paper in a bag). The child who pulled the paper answers the question from that subject for week 1. The next child answers the question from that subject for week 2, and then we move down the line until we get to week 7. Then the next child selects a subject, & they answer the question in that subject from week 1. The next child answers the question from that subject for week 2, and then we move down the line until we get to week 7. That way everyone is answering a question from a different week.
Everyone did a wonderful job with the tin whistle today! I love their enthusiasm! I know having an opportunity to perform for others really motivates my children to practice, so I will set aside some time each week for the individual children to perform a song they learned at home if they would like to play it for us. You can find some easier tin whistle sheet music on CCC and also at http://www.irish-folk-songs.com/childrens-songs-on-tin-whistle.html .
Thank you for making the extra effort to have your child visit the bathroom before morning assembly!
Next week our science time will be spent as a “Plants Show and Tell.” Your children will get to tell us about plants they saw this week. Try to spend a bit of time outdoors and find plants or parts of plants. Use the plastic bag to collect 1-5 items to share with the class next week. Another option to use for your plant nature walk is this fun and educational scavenger hunt worksheet which assigns point values to each of the finds. I have used it with my children and with my nieces and nephews, and they have all really enjoyed it (and learned from it): http://ellenjmchenry.com/botany-scavenger-hunt/.
This week I will be praying for each of your children. My prayer is that through our time at CC, they will be filled “with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” (I Thessalonians 1:6)
Please let me know if there are any specific prayer needs I can join you in praying for.
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