Drop of inspiration
I created "A Day in the Life of a Raindrop" as part of a composing project designed for key stage 2 music, and it's ideal for Years 5 or 6. It's a booklet about a character called Ronnie the Raindrop ("I'm going to tell you what it's like to be me for a day. Can you imagine? Always a bad hair day").
We follow Ronnie's journey during the stages of the water cycle, from cloud droplet to raindrop, becoming heavier until he falls and splats on to a window pane.
He starts a race with his fellow raindrops to see who gets to the bottom of the pane first, then relaxes in a puddle before being transported via drains to a river, and so on.
Pupils then compose a musical soundscape to accompany each stage of Ronnie's life story. The project is flexible and can be delivered over five to seven weeks.
In teams no larger than six, pupils work on a different stage of the water cycle each lesson until the whole cycle is completed.
In each lesson we have preview performances, using whatever instruments are to hand, so we can see and hear how the work is going. We may also introduce new music keywords each lesson - tempo, pitch or dynamics - that could be a focus in their composing.
It is ideal to record each group frequently so that pupils can evaluate their own work.
They can write their planning in exercise books or notate their ideas on a graphic score. The final assessment can either be about how effectively the pupils are able to depict the water cycle in music, or it can be biased toward science if required.
Michaela Duckett is a teacher at Catshill Middle School in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.