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Stone Soup Update

A veteran, Kindergarten teacher from my former school, Linda Edmunds does a unit in September on the folk story, "Stone Soup." She concludes the unit with a day of communal soup making. I worked with her to formulate a mini-musical.

It didn't work. Here's why.

I had not taught them yet how to use all the families of the Orff instruments: skins (membranes), woods, metals, and bars. They were new to Kindergarten and new to instruments in music class. According to Carl Orff and the tenants of Responsive Classroom, students need to be mindfully introduced to each new material in the classroom. If they aren't, they will run amok and be unsuccessful.

I am reminded of my own use of Orff instruments prior to Orff level training. My pedagogy was severely lacking. I didn't know how to teach the children bordun, mallet technique, or basic instrument care. I thought as an adult, not as a child. I didn't get the message across, and therefore, my forays into instruments were unsuccessful.

A few days into my Level I training, a lightbulb went off in my head. All of a sudden, using the instruments was easy. I was figuring out how Orff scores worked and how it all came together to make a beautiful sound. After that, I used instruments and succeeded.

So I knew that teaching Stone Soup in September would fail. Why did I do it anyway?

We all make mistakes. We all forget best practices and do our own thing eventually. And we all fail, reflect, and regroup. I'm human. You're human. We mess up. We try again.

What should be done with Stone Soup

1. Teach this song to children who know how to play woods: wood blocks, rhythm sticks, maracas, temple blocks
2. Teach this song to children who know how to play metals: triangles, chimes, jingle sticks, sleigh bells, cymbals
3. Teach this song to children who know how to play membranophones (skins): drums, tambourines, Indian shakers
4. Teach this song to children who know how to play barred Orff instruments: glockenspiels, metalophones, xylophones.
5. Teach this song to children who can improvise in ALL of the above families of instruments.
6. Teach this song to children with a successful history of improvised movement a la The Mary Joyce book.
7. Teach this song to children familiar with the story of Stone Soup, children who have become acquainted with several variants of the story.

Are you seeing something that I did not? There is a lot of front-loading needed to succeed at this mini-musical. Years in fact. You really can't do this with Kindergarten. I think third grade and above would do well. As I update this post, it is 2015. I am beginning a K-3 job, and none of my students have been taught how to use all the Orff families. I will not be attempting this project this year. I will wait one, maybe even two years before trying. I need to first build a culture of respectful instrument use in my school.

I found a Portuguese version of the story and made the mini-musical.

Click here for the script

There are thousands of variations of the story, many are available in book form.  Here are some images from various Stone Soup stories I've found on the web.

This project satisfies my Kodaly and my Orff side.  


Kodaly
Orff
“Stone Soup” is a folk tale in hundreds of cultures from various language groups
“Stone Soup” lends itself to the layering of ostinati to illustrate the action of the story
There are many short melodies from Hungary that I would love to teach my American children, but I don’t see them responding to them without a story or activity to couch them, “Stone Soup” is just such a device
Telling the tale with instruments, dance, drama, and singing is the Orff ideal.
By necessity, any melody taught would need lots of repetition and constant honing.  This would improve the quality of the children’s singing considerably.

Different instrument timbres can be different kinds of soup ingredients. 
·         Woods = noodles
·         Metals = herbs
·         Bars = beans and protein
·         Membranes = broth
·         Two Stones = the stone
Each instrument is introduced with a vocal ostinato which is then heard in the instruments.

Comments

Amy Abbott said…
I'd LOVE a copy!!!
amy.j.abbott@gmail.com

Thanks!
Amy
Kierstie said…
Thank you for this post. I love this story and would love to have a way to use it musically as well as dramatically. The idea of using the different instruments for items in the soup is great. kiersten@friendscommunityschool.org

Kiersten Whitehead
cmcgill said…
I'd love to get a copy of the mini-musical. I teach elementary music using a variety of educational methods. Thanks for your blog!
Wynne said…
The mini-musical sounds great! At least one of our kindergarten classes makes stone soup. I'd love to have a copy. I teach K-5 in a school of about 900 or more! steelmagnolia80@gmail.com
meg said…
Hi!! Sounds GREAT! My first year exploring Orff and hoping to make the conference this year!

mgaudin@stjames.k12.la.us
Anonymous said…
I'd love to see what you came up with for stone soup! I teach PreK-6th grade, so I could really use your "older kids share with the younger" idea. Thanks for sharing it with us!

lundstromjl@gmail.com
Susie V. said…
I would love to have a copy of this mini-musical!! Love your blog!

susiedawn88@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
Sounds fun! Dgapgirl82@yahoo.com
Anonymous said…
I love the story of stone soup....please send me a copy of the mini musical. sondra.jones@ocps.net
Jenn Spiegel said…
Hi Suzanne,

I just stumbled upon your blog, and I want to thank you for sharing what you are doing in your classes. I am entering my second year as an elementary music teacher, and I know I'll be able to draw inspiration from your pages. I would love to have a copy of your "Stone Soup" mini-musical. My e-mail address is: spiegel.jenn@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
This sounds very neat! Please send me the musical, I'm curious to see if my grade 1-3s can do it! miss.belanger.assignments@gmail.com
Christina said…
I love your blog!! I actually have an interview tomorrow for an elementary position and I was looking for innovative ways to incorporate both Kodaly and Orff methods into my sample lesson plan. This is amazing! Please email a copy of both the mini-musical and lesson plans.

Thank you!!!
Coloratura718@gmail.com
Heather Wulff said…
I'm excited for this! I try to use literature in my lessons and get excited for fresh ideas - and using both Orff and Kodaly techniques is right up my alley. I would be grateful for a copy.
Best,
Heather Wulff
Mhcwulff@gmail.com
Rachel King said…
I am always looking for ways to use books and stories in class. I would love a copy of the mini-musical. kingrl25@gmail.com Thanks!
Unknown said…
It would be great to implement this in my school! Thanks so much! robindye1@gmail.com
Amy Abbott said…
How odd that my email bounced back! It's amy.j.abbott@gmail.com but you can try my other one: abbott_amy@svvsd.org. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome ideas!!!
Anonymous said…
I am a new teacher and would love a copy of your musical! Also, I would love your advice on how to set up a classroom for K-8 with lots of room for moving and dancing!

Thanks!
argargrave@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
Sounds Terrific. Thank you for sharing. Would love a copy of the musical! kirrillie@hotmail.com
Danelle said…
What a great blog! I would love a copy as well. danelleeckhart@gmail.com. Thanks so much!
Danelle said…
What a great blog! I would love a copy as well. Thanks for sharing! danelleeckhart@gmail.com
This would be perfect for an end of the year "Curriculum Fine Arts Night" that our school is doing for the elementary grades. I'd love a copy of it! kelley.m.robertson@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
Thank you for the terrific idea. I am returning to elementary music after many years of teaching secondary choir/music appreciation. And "Stone Soup" has always been a favorite story. Please send me a copy of the mini-musical. And thanks again.
kea6544@interact.ccsd.net
Anonymous said…
Very cool. love the idea of bringing classes together. I'd love a copy!
poerstel@alephbet.org
Anonymous said…
sounds like a fun project. I'd love a copy!
billnave@gmail.com
Cheryl Lewis said…
I love using literature with music in my classroom. Thank you for offering to share!
cwlflute@yahoo.com
Ms. Beka said…
This is so amazing!! I would love a copy of the musical also! love.ofmusic@ymail.com Thank you so much for sharing. I came across your blog on accident. Soo glad that I did. I am starting my second year teaching and so this would be awesome to try this year!!
Anonymous said…
Thanks for sharing this. I've seen (and done) Stone Soup in several different ways, so I would love to see your take on it! janinelarsen@cis.dk
Anonymous said…
I would LOVE a copy! Thank you so much for posting this and your whole blog.

rbrodersen@lincoln.ed.cr
Anonymous said…
I would LOVE a copy! I am building my program & need all the help I can get!
Tiffany.Martin@imagineschools.com
I'd love a copy!
Shaina.osullivan@gmail.com
kingeman said…
I'd love a copy. I teach music K-6 in a Spanish Immersion school would love to play with this. Thanks, too, for sharing.

kkingeman@gmail.com
cpdmom said…
This is a very cool idea. I often use literature with my lessons and am always looking for new books to use.

Cheryl Daidone
Cdaidone@apps.fluco.org
Anonymous said…
I love the Stone Soup story! I am interested in how to make entire unit from the story.

Kristin Feick
kkfp38@wi.rr.com
Linda/NC said…
You have a great blog. I have done Stone Soup before but would love to have a new version to introduce. If you can send your mini-musical to me that would be wonderful. Thanks so much and have a super year. Linda

lthwing@burke.k12.nc.us
Diane Sabourin said…
Please send a copy to sabourdm@gmail.com. Kindergarteners just LOVE that story. A lot of times the teachers make stone soup...
Anonymous said…
Would love to have a copy as well!

Kayladione@gmail.com
Angie said…
Just found your blog. And am just plowing through your great ideas. I'd love to read more about your Stone Soup mini-musical. It might be just what I need to round out the early elem spring program.
Thanks!
Angie Stumbo
astumbo@athenschristian.com
Anonymous said…
New Elementary Music Teacher, and I would LOVE a copy as well!! lindsaystowers@mgsd.k12.nc.us
Stephanie First Year said…
Hello, I'm getting ready for my first year of teaching. I'm thrilled to have found your blog! I'm having trouble figuring out how to do programs, so I would love a copy! Thanks! stephaniesmetana(at)hotmail(dot)com
Anonymous said…
I love this idea. May I have a copy?
rbbeckaroo@sbcglobal.net
Anonymous said…
I love your blog! I'd love a copy, too. Looking for new ideas as mine are getting stale. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful ideas and tips.

harriet.turnbull@pisd.edu
Becky Haen said…
I would love a copy. I was just hired for Elementary General Music yesterday and I start work next week Wednesday. Always looking for more ideas to boost my arsenal ;)

rebeccahaen@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
I would love a copy. Thanks for sharing. sueannstuddard@sbcglobal.net
cc18 said…
I teach elementary music so would love a copy. Thanks.
cc18 said…
I'd love a copy of the minimusical and the Orff/Kodaly lesson you've come up with. I also teach all elementary grades. Thanks.
Anonymous said…
Can it be used with 1st grade?
Amcray@mason.k12.mi.us
Anonymous said…
I did Stone Soup when I was in elementary school and would love to do it with my kids now that I am a Music teacher.

melissagraham05@gmail.com
Andrea said…
I would love a copy also! I am always excited to incorporate stories into my teaching.

Thank you!
andrea.n.donahoe@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
I'd love a copy too! daniella.nowell@gmail.com

Thanks for all the hard work and great ideas!
Anonymous said…
I would also love a copy! I love your compare/contrast of Orff vs. Kodaly!

bright184@yahoo.com
Steve Parry said…
I'm delighted to have just discovered your blog! What an amazing idea to do a musical - I'd love a copy. Thank you for being generous with your time, resources, and ideas. Steve P. - mosaic.steve@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

tanny at heavypanther dot com
Anonymous said…
I love your site, so many helpful ideas. Am I too late to get your musical? It sounds like such a great idea.
Unknown said…
Your blog is awesome. I love the combination of the Kodaly and Orff approaches! Please send me the musical as well. ortenzi.alison@constellationschools.com
LL18 said…
One of my favorite stories & my students enjoy this story as well! :) Thank you for sharing!
lisa.lohr@fcps.org
Anonymous said…
Would love a copy.ssarafin@sandwich.k12.ma.us
Anonymous said…
Would love a copy as I am always looking for new ways to introduce music sessions to the children!
karensubel@hotmail.com
jmanfroni said…
Very interested in this and would love to have a copy of the musical!

josh.manfroni@hallco.org
Heather said…
This is such a great resource! I would love a copy! This was one of my favorite books growing up!

Heatherfelsted@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
My first year of putting Schulwerk into my classroom in full force! Very excited and looking forward to discovering lots of great resources. Thanks for sharing with us all!
awyatt@lps.k12.co.us
Dawn said…
Enjoyed reading this post and took away some tips for organizing space and materials (I travel to some rooms and work in a dedicated space for other classes). I'd also love a copy of the musical!
Anonymous said…
I would love to see how you set up your mini musical for primary classes
jlgstearns@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
Great Blog!!! Thanks for your informative posts! I'd love a copy for my kids.

nathan.odhner@gmail.com
Alison Rush said…
I would love love love a copy! You're blog is great!

alison.rush8@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
I would love a copy!!! greidlinger@hotmail.com.

Thank you!!
Anonymous said…
How generous of you to share!
Allison.rasmussen@wsr.k12.ia.us
My daughter has just experienced Stone Soup in her first year of school. Sounds wonderful! rebecca@sightreading.com.au
mlvdl8401 said…
I would love a copy if it's not too late.
lvanderlinden@w-marshall.k12.ia.us
Anonymous said…
Yikes! Just saw this on September 11th! I would still love a copy if you don't mind...
musicmakersc@yahoo.com
Anonymous said…
Just saw this post..would you please send me a copy? Love your posts!!
inge.bader@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
Just saw this blog! Am I too late? I hope now! This is my first year teaching music, drama and dance!

My email is laurakv4@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
I just saw your post. Can you please send me a copy? Thanks

evkwan@taylor.edu
Anonymous said…
I just saw your post. May I have a copy? evakwan2005@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
please can someone send me a copy?
i just signed up to pinterest and found this
please please please email: annette_a_curran@live.com.au
Anonymous said…
I'm way past the date for requesting the mini-musical but I've only just found your awesome blog. Is there any chance I could still have a copy?
caldwell@callsouth.net.nz
:-)
Anonymous said…
Is it too late to get a copy? I would love this.
pamhallsc@comcast.net
Ms. DePriest said…
okay - way way way beyond the deadline, but i would love to see what you have put together.

bowhead0313@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
I'll also like a to have a copy!
I love this story

flaflary@yahoo.gr
I would love a copy!!! antzoule@otenet.gr
Anonymous said…
I just came across this post. I teach music at an international school in Portugal and would love be able to use your mini musical if it is still available. They actually still make and sell Stone Soup here (Sopa de Pedra) at festivals, in restaurants and even in the fresh soup sections of grocery stores.

mara14767@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
are you still offering copies of your mini musical??? I love this idea!
bmilliron@keyknox.com
Anonymous said…
I am training to be a primary teacher and am interested in using stories to teach languages - it would be great to incorporate music too! I would really love a copy.

lucinmarshall@me.com
Anonymous said…
Would love a copy of your mini musical! Rebeccak1979@hotmail.com
Unknown said…
I just found this post about the stone soup musical. Is it still possible to look at what you've done with it? My email is brillig_monica at salkeiz.k12.or.us
Anonymous said…
Hi,
Is it possible to still get a copy?

Mike
mjhiggins@washoeschools.net
Mitch said…
This sounds great. Is there a resource for it now that it is already 2015?
uńćiteljica said…
Hello friends from the other site of the world! I'm teacher from Slovenija. I'm an Orff teacher and I would really like to tray this idea with my kids in school. So if I'm not too late please send me a copy of music arrangement to my mail: frfotaj@gmail.com
Thank you and best wishes!
Anonymous said…
I would love a copy of this! rgthorson@yahoo.com

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