Here is a quick lesson you can use to help your students learn dynamics using "Go for the Gold! Recorder."
Resources: Go for the Gold! Recorder (Beginner's Edition) Page 38 (Event 5 - Little Elephant)
Purpose: Teaching students variations in dynamics
Activity: Talk to students about places where echoes occur? It could be in a cave, in a tiled bathroom, down a stairwell. Ask them what happens to the sound in terms of dynamics each time they hear their echo back. Does it get louder? Does it get softer? Does it stay the same?
In music, sometimes we want to create variations in repeated sections to mimic an echo. If the original dynamic is forte, what should the next repeat be? Mezzo-forte? Mezzo-piano? What should the next repeat be? Piano? Pianissimo?
Have the students write on the board the original dynamic (you can use symbols) and then the next dynamics.
Check out measure 1 and 2 of "Little Elephant." The first dynamic is marked forte and the next is marked mezzo forte.
Have a student play the measures and ask the rest of the class (the audience) to place their hand in the air to indicate the volume they hear (The higher their hand, the louder the note they hear). The idea is to have the kids drop their hands from measure 1 to measure 2.