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Piano Game (Classroom version!)

Target Grade: 2 to Adult
Target language: Numbers, colours, animals, any vocab!
Preparation: A piano or musical keyboard, some small stickers, stopwatch

This is a great game for teaching cross-curricular activities of music and language. Teach the kids the target English, for example numbers (remember, teaching 1 to 12 is better than 1 to 10 as it means you can easily jump to telling the time!!). On the piano, start with middle C (ask a music teacher!), and place a small sticker on it. Label this sticker "1". Go to the next white note, D, and put a sticker with the number "2" on it. Keep going until you have 12 white keys labelled 1 to 12. If you are teaching colours or animals, simply label each key with a different colour or animal!

1. Split the kids into groups. Each group splits into 2.

2. One half of one group goes to the back of the class. The other half stand by the paino at the front.

3. Start the stopwatch

4. The kids at the back read out a series of numbers, in the target language (of course!), from a list that you give them (see below).

5. The kids at the front play these numbers on the piano. i.e. if they hear "3" they hit the key with "3" written on it.

6. The team members listen and if they can say the title of the tune they get 10 points. Stop the stopwatch!

7. Choose a new group and repeat from step 2.


 In the class, you could even split the activity in 2, the kids at the back read the numbers out, the kids at the front write them down on the board, then they have a go at playing them. For animals, food, colours etc. it's best to prepare some picture cards in advance!

During the game, if anyone speaks their native language,  it's plus 5 seconds!

At the end of the game the team with the quickest time gets an extra 10 bonus points. The stopwatch is very important to add tension to the game!

Want to try yourself? Have a go with the Flash version at the top of this page! Choose a subject (either numbers, colours or animals). You then hear a word, move your mouse over the correct piano "key", then move it away to hear the next note! Have a couple of goes and see if you can guess the 3 songs! If you don't play an instrument, this is a great way to learn! You could also use this software in class. Put the kids in groups on different computers and see which group is quickest to recognise each song!

The list of notes you prepare before. Ask someone musical to help you write down some famous tunes (make sure the kids will know them!!), in the format useable for the game. The "musical scores" for above are:
1 5 432 8 5 432 8 5 4342
yellow red red red pink blue red blue pink red red pink green black
dog dog dog penguin mouse mouse penguin kangaroo kangaroo fish fish dog

Did you figure out what songs they were?

The best thing about it is that it teaches language and musical skills together.

Let me know how you got on!



Richard



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