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K-2: Notating a Rainy Day

by Melissa Vincent, Learn NC

Using manipulatives, students will notate a familiar song.

A lesson plan for Grade 2 Music Education

Learning outcomes

Using Solfege, Kodaly hand signals, and manipulatives, students will learn to notate rhythmically and melodically mi, sol, and la on a partial staff.

Students will compose their own music using mi, sol, la.

Time required for lesson: 90 Minutes


  • One piece of tagboard for every three students o The tag board will need to be marked horizontally with two lines from edge to edge. o The bottom line is marked “mi” o The top line is marked “sol” o The space above sol is marked “la” (See attachment)
  • Small colored paper squares
  • Small colored paper rectangles


  • The students are to respond properly by singing the correct tones for each hand signal.
  • Teach Iconic notation using the squares (short sounds) and rectangles (long sounds).


1. Teach the students a song (perhaps “Miss White had a fright”) using mi, sol, and la. Students should demonstrate hand signals while singing.

2. With colored squares, rectangles, and one prepared tag board demonstrate the notation of the song for the students.

3. Divide the students into groups of three. Distribute prepared tag board, squares and rectangles, one tag board per group.

4. Teach the children another song using mi, sol and la (Perhaps “Bobby Shafto”). Students should demonstrate hand signals while singing.

5. Guide the students in notating the song just taught.

6. Teach “Rain, Rain, Go Away” using hand signals. Students should demonstrate the hand signals while singing.

7. The students should work in individual groups in notating “Rain, Rain Go Away.”

See “Additional Comments” for more mi, sol, la songs.


The students should be able to sing what they have notated using Kodaly signals. Teacher and other groups observe and make corrections where necessary.

Each group then notates and sings their own composition using Kodaly signals, mi, sol, la and manipulatives.

Later, they may add words to their composition.

Supplemental information

Teacher should have some knowledge of Kodaly hand signals and Solfege. See Relevant Web Sites

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