week 6

Session 6.  Today is our last day of the virtually there programme. The children began the lesson be recalling activities from Tuesday’s session.  It has been useful to have the sessions close together so that the children are able to retain a little bit more of the information.


They enjoyed seeing themselves on the whiteboard showing their animals created on the previous day.


Today Fionnuala used the class list of hot land animal projects to introduce Hyena, Tarantula, Cheetah and Parrot.  Having already begun our projects in class, the children were keen to share some of their knowledge with Fionnuala and the other children.


In groups the children drew one of the above animals. They were able to use the pictures on the board and were encouraged to use the detail from these in their illustrations.


The children are keen to bring finished pieces to the board to share with Fionnuala and see their work on the software.


Before the first break we used the animal groups to make up more actions for our “If you’re a …” song.


After the break the children enjoyed making masks of their animals.

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week 5

Today’s session began, as usual with a recap of our previous session.  Since this was just a few days ago the children were able to clearly recall what happened.  They discussed the elephants we made and were keen to find out which animal we would be concentrating on today.


Fionnuala introduced the giraffe using a series of interesting photographs.  It was useful to help the children see different patterns and colours on the giraffe’s skin.


The children then decorated and assembled their giraffe models.  These were already backed with cardboard which allowed them to stand freely.


The children have a lot more confidence in approaching Fionnuala at the white board. They were very keen to show their models and discuss with her what they were doing.


Before break we used some of the children’s ideas to create a giraffe song to the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it”.


After break we agreed on rules for the giraffe flash mob.  The children, already having practice in using a flash mob, were confident with this activity.  We included eating, drinking and laughing in our instructions.


On return to class we looked at the crocodile and discussed its similarities and differences with the crocodile.  The children then created models as they did with the giraffe.


The session ended with the “If you’re a crocodile and you know it…”


The children enjoyed today’s session a lot.

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After a few technical hitches today we got started.  We began by recounting the children’s recent visit to Belfast Zoo.  It was encouraging to see how much they were able to remember from their visit and was useful to be able to tie it in with this project.


The children enjoyed looking at some of the photographs of elephant and this led to some creative discussions about pink fluffy elephants using big glasses to see ladybirds!


After the break we focused on elephants and the children enjoyed making elephants to stand in their animal zoos.  This was a good introduction to work on a flashmob which the children had never heard of.


We agreed five simple instructions for the flashmob and then children were to carry this out in the playground. The children really enjoyed this activity and responded well to each of the five instructions.


On return to the classroom we were able to share some of the video and audio from our flashmob.


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Making guitars! 08.05.12

Today was the third session of the Virtually There project.  We were able to combine the introduction of our World Around Project on Hot Land Animals with animal sounds.

The session began with a revist of the previous activity.  Children enjoyed seeing their shakers displayed on the whiteboard and we had a short discussion about the inspriration for their drawings.

This was followed by a tour of the Elluminate white board in which Fionnuala and the children collaborated to create a drawing of a bear and a monkey.

We were able to view some of the work of other school’s.  We especially enjoyed looking at the photographic work of one school.

Fionnuala showed us a lovely rainforest picture using the Elluminate Softward.  This was accompanied by a piece of music.  The children were encouraged to chose an animal and imaging what it might be doing using the picture and the music.  The children came up with some excellent ideas (See class journal).

This inspired the children to draw and write about their animal. We used this as a cover for the guitar.  The instruments were very simple and easy to make.  An empty shoe box was covered with the children’s picture and then given strings using elastic bands.  A short strip of balsa wood was attached using a glue gun.

We finished the session with singing using our instruments.  To the tune of ” If you’re happy and you know it” we sang “!If you’re a monkey sing and dance” and “If you’re a snake shake your tail”.



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Virtually There – Week 2 – 26.04.12 Our First Virtual Meeting!


After our first meeting with Fionnuala last week, we were all looking forward to our first “Virtual” meeting.

We all felt well prepared for today’s lesson.  The children had helped to gather materials to make musical instruments, in school and at home.  I had also spent some time testing the Elluminate software with Fionnuala.

The children really enjoyed seeing Fionnuala on the big screen.  Some children discussed how this was a little bit like Skype, which a lot of them have at home.  We discussed how they used it to speak to family and friends in other countries.

We all enjoyed having a look around Fionnuala’s music studio and seeing some of her musical instruments. The children were able to recall what they had learnt in last week’s lesson.

Last week, we had spent some time listening to sounds in the environment and this week we went on a short walk to record the sounds we could hear using an easispeak microphone.  We went inside and then outside.  Over break time, Fionnuala was able to listen to the sounds we had found.

Finally, the children made shakers, using the sounds they had found outside the classroom as inspiration for their decorations.

It was lovely to see the children take their instrument up to the whiteboard to show and describe it to Fionnuala using the webcam and microphone!

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Virtually There – Week 1 – 19.4.12 – Fionnuala comes to visit

Today, primary 2 and 3 were very excited to meet Fionnaula, the artist who we will be working with for this project.

We spent some time getting to know each other and discussing what the project would involve. We discussed how Fionnula would be teaching them next week via the Interactive Whiteboard from her studio in Dublin. It will be interesting to see how the children respond to this.

The children had lots of opportunities to explore sounds they can hear make with their bodies. This included plugging our ears using our fingers and listening to sounds coming from inside our body. The children also made sounds with hands, feet and mouths. They were conducted by Fionnuala and (with some practice) were able to stamp and clap rhythms in time. (“Be aware of and perform a steady beat”).

Next, the children were encouraged to listen for and identify sounds in and beyond the classroom. They were very enthusiastic to share which sounds they heard (“listen and respond to own and others’ music-making”).

After this, there was a chance to explore the musical instruments. The children were encouraged to perform a solo using their instruments and also to listen to the performances of the other children.
(“Perform with simple instruments”).

Overall, this was a very enjoyable session. The children were keen and enthusiastic and have given us lots of ideas for subsequent lessons. We are all looking forward to our first virtual meeting next week!!!

(The bold text highlights where the activities relate to the Music area of the statutory requirements of the Northern Ireland Curriculum)

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