The Mysterious Ticking Noise
One of the units we do is called "The Mysterious Ticking Noise." This is an integrated unit that students seem to really enjoy. Students learn to sew (life skills) create puppets (art) and perform with the puppets (theater). The mysterious ticking noise, and the other "Puppet Pals" videos are based on Harry Potter, which is a book series many of them read. (Literacy.) We spend a little bit of time comparing and contrasting (a common core standard) the puppet characters with the original characters in the book. Most importantly, this is a musical activity. The puppets each chant a rhythmic ostinato using their own name. Example: "Snape, Snape, Severus Snape." While each part is in it self simple, It is quite a challenge to fit all these parts together. Another challenge is the several transitions. It takes quite a bit of practice. This is the sort of thing that musicians do all the time in a band situation, but non-band kids rarely get this opportunity. Once our puppets are made, students are broken up into small groups to "go on tour" with their puppet shows around the building. At some point, we also take our ostinato patterns and transfer them to classroom Orff instruments or drums. I've included videos below if you'd like to hear the end result.