The Little Blue Truck

“The Little Blue Truck” by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jill McElmurry is one of my favorite children’s picture books, and after reading it many times to my own kids at bedtime I finally came up with a way of connecting it to a music lesson for my students. The rhythm of the text screams “Orff Schulwerk,” and combined with a backing drum beat (…) I found that my first graders loved reading the colorful sound words while I took the words in black. At the end I composed an Orff arrangement using phrases from the book, and you’ll find borduns, melody lines, and 8 beat improvisations throughout. To extend the activity we also split up the instruments between woods (xylophones) and metals (metallophones and glockenspiels). The result is a super fun performance piece that can help get kids of all ages excited about both reading and music! This video features a group of first graders from Boone Meadow Elementary and was filmed during the 2023-2024 school year. Our 2024 first grade Music Is Reading program can be found at:…

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