Monday, September 5, 2011

New York Philharmonic Kidzone

Cultural and educational institutions often produce websites that are wonderful language-eliciting experiences for kids.  Explore the New York Philharmonic Kidzone website and see if you can design some lessons about music and language. The Instrument Storage Room and Music Match Instruments (in games section) are good explorations of subcategories and specific instruments (aligning with the music curriculum). Musical Mingles is a good place to explore complex cause-effect and spatial relationships.  The Composers Gallery has biographies and musical samples of famous composers from different periods. MusicQuest is a more extensive activity in which the student chooses an instrument and mentor, and works through solving some backstage problems, exposing them to the schema of a life in the Philharmonic.  All of this is packaged in an interface that would be very appealing visually to kids.

For a greater context, you could try exploring this site after reading The Remarkable Farkle McBride by John Lithgow, which is itself a good context to explore story grammar and the Unthinkable Glass Man character from Michelle Garcia Winner and Stephanie Madrigal's Superflex for Social Thinking book.

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