Published on January 10, 2008
Children’s Literature and Music: A Harmonious Combination for Reading Instruction: Children’s Literature and Music: A Harmonious Combination for Reading Instruction Audrey Meixner Graduate Student Slippery Rock University Slide2: “When combined with literature, music enhances the aesthetic stance for reading response which refers to cognitive and affective experiences during reading” (Rosenblatt, 1978). Why Music? : Why Music? Early Childhood instruction should include a variety of disciplines to help the emergent learner become successful in and out of the classroom. Studies suggest that music is a powerful way to teach sound to word correspondence, (Pat Sandoval, 1998). Songs can be used effectively for teaching phonemic awareness, (Yopp and Yopp, 1996). Reading picture books made from songs is an easy, effective way for beginning readers to learn high frequency sight words as well as one-to-one correspondence and phonics skills, (Booth Church, 2006). Howard Garder believes that music helps develop musical rhythmic intelligence. Children who are musical learners are good at noticing sounds, remembering melodies, and keeping time. These are the students in your classroom who hum, sing, and tap out rhythms on their desks. Musical activities are a great way to keep them engaged! Literature Based Thematic Units with Song and Movement: Literature Based Thematic Units with Song and Movement In this virtual presentation, I will present three thematic units for use in the Kindergarten and 1st grade classroom. These units can be easily extended, adapted and expanded upon to suit your students needs. The books, songs and activities presented have been used and tested in my classroom. My students love these units and repeatedly ask for the activities throughout the school year. Singing in your Kindergarten/1st grade classroom: Singing in your Kindergarten/1st grade classroom Don’t be ashamed of your singing voice! Your students will love to hear you sing no matter what you think you sound like. Let the music teacher worry about their vocal quality. Above all else, have fun and be creative! 1st Thematic Unit- BearsBooks, songs, rhymes and activities: 1st Thematic Unit- Bears Books, songs, rhymes and activities “Teddy wants to know your name” Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Fuzzy Wuzzy “Grizzly Bear” The Three Bears Polar, Polar Bear Going on a Bear Hunt “Teddy Want’s to Know Your Name”: “Teddy Want’s to Know Your Name” Activity- Getting to know the children at the beginning of the year. Materials- Large stuffed Teddy Bear Rhyme/Chant- “Teddy wants to know your name, having fun is the name of the game! Won’t you please tell Teddy Your Name?” “Teddy” Cont…: “Teddy” Cont… Activity- Seat the children in a circle on the floor. Bring “Teddy” out to meet the students, explain to them that he is new just like they are, and would like to get to know them. Teach the rhyme/chant by rote one verse at a time. “I say, you say” While saying the chant, have the students pat the beat softly on their legs. After saying the chant one time through as a class, have three students hug “Teddy” and tell him their names. Then repeat the chant again and move on to the next three students . Repeat until all have hugged “Teddy” and given their names. Remember to remind the students to be gentle with Teddy and to give him hugs and kisses to make him feel welcome! Not all children will want to participate the first time and this is o.k. I just move on to the next child and say, “Maybe next time!” I usually do this activity for the first week of the school year. However, the students love it when “Teddy” gets to stay and learn all of the other “bear” activities with them. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear ●”Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear” is a traditional children’s song, action rhyme, and picture book. ●Sometimes it is used by older children as a jump rope rhyme. ●First listen to the song sung by Jill Trinka. Her recording, Little Black Bull, is the best version of the song I have found. ●Activity- Listen to the song and perform the actions. You will need a large space for the children to move in. Have them find their “own personal space” or “bubble space” where nobody else is touching them. Picture Source: Amazon.com Teddy Bear Cont….: Teddy Bear Cont…. After listening and performing the actions a few times, try singing it! Have “Teddy” from “Teddy wants to know your name,” perform the actions with you! Try singing it and performing the actions without the recording. At the end of the song, I have the children lie down on the floor and pretend they are sleeping. Then, I whisper for them to move quietly over to my rocking chair to read and sing along with the book . The book is slightly different from Jill Trinka’s version of the song. This happens with many classic children’s songs and stories. Compare the differences and similarities between the book and song with the children. Ask them to create more activities for the Teddy Bear to do. This could also be a great song to use when teaching rhyming words. “Fuzzy Wuzzy Was A Bear”: “Fuzzy Wuzzy Was A Bear” “Fuzzy Wuzzy” is a great little chant to use during the Bear Unit and to use when teaching rhyming words. “Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair! Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy, was he?” I used this chant in conjunction with “Teddy wants to know your name.” I introduce another teddy bear and call him, “Fuzzy Wuzzy.” We pat or clap the beat of the chant while saying it together. Perform movements to the chant as well, scratch your head, raise your arms in question, etc… “Grizzly Bear”: “Grizzly Bear” This song is a traditional children’s song and has many variations. Activity- Have the children seated in a circle and choose a child to be the sleeping grizzly bear in the middle of the circle. Choose another child to tap the sleeping grizzly bear to wake him up! Once the tapping child makes it back to his or her seat, the grizzly bear “wakes up” and has three chances to guess the correct person who woke him/her. Repeat with new children. Activity- Use this song to compare/contrast the differences between grizzly bears and polar bears. This could jumpstart an art and writing activity. Also, use this to discuss loud and soft sounds. Which type of animal makes loud sounds, and which type makes soft sounds? “Grizzly Bear” can be found on The Bunny Collection CD by The Music Class. www.themusicclass.com Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you hear?: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you hear? Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr. have written two wonderful books featuring bears for young children. Most teachers use Brown Bear, Brown Bear in their classroom, but Polar Bear, Polar Bear allows the students to become creative with animal sounds. Exposing children to the vocabulary in the book is highly enriching. Words like snorting, fluting, and roaring are used. Polar Bear, Polar Bear can be used to create classroom books and further students curiosity. Ask the students about what they hear in the room and around the building throughout the school day. Music teachers typically focus on vocal exploration at the beginning of Kindergarten. Polar Bear, Polar Bear is another book which enables your students to be expressive in the classroom. Picture source: Amazon.com We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Michael Rosen and Helen Oxembury have created a fabulous book and CD combination for use in the primary classroom. This is a fun compilation to use in the bear unit. It incorporates all kinds of situational and problem solving opportunities. The book can be a catalyst for “call and response” activities used to promote expression. The setting for “the bear hunt” could be created in the classroom or even on the playground. Picture source: Amazon.com Slide15: Goldilocks and the Three Bears Songs and Activities to use within Goldilocks and the Three Bears : Songs and Activities to use within Goldilocks and the Three Bears Jane Resnick’s version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is great! It has large illustrations and comes with three bear puppets. Wonderful reinforcement for large, medium, and small. “Pease Porridge Hot” is a great song or rhyme to use when Mama bear fixes porridge for Papa bear and Baby bear. “Pease Porridge Hot, Pease Porridge Cold, Pease Porridge in the pot, nine days old. Some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it in the pot, nine days old!” Activity- Bring a large stock pot from home and a wooden spoon. Have the students think of their favorite foods and allow them to “pretend” to stir them into the pot! Change the song or rhyme to fit whatever food you are stirring into the pot. Example- “Pizza Porridge Hot! Pizza Porridge Cold! Pizza Porridge in the pot, nine days old!” Remember to remind your students that not everybody likes the same foods and to be respectful of others choices. Song found in Denise Gagne’s Singing Games Children Love Vol .2 “Bounce High, Bounce Low”: “Bounce High, Bounce Low” In this version of the story, the three bears decide to leave the house and go on a picnic. Baby bear brings his ball with him. “Bounce High, bounce low. Bounce the ball to Shiloh. Bounce it up, bounce it down, bounce it all around the town!” Activity- Use a large rubber playground ball to “bounce high and bounce low” all around the room. Have the children stand in a circle and bounce the ball while singing the song. Practice bounce and catch, bounce and catch… I allow the Kindergarteners to try to bounce the ball by themselves during one full singing of the song. First graders are typically more coordinated and can bounce the ball to each other across the circle. This is another great activity to incorporate rhyming words. Allow the children to create places to bounce the ball that end in “o”. Also great for developing gross motor skills!! Song found on Denise Gagne’s Singing Games Children Love Vol. 2 “Bee, Bee, Bumble Bee”: “Bee, Bee, Bumble Bee” While on a picnic, Papa Bear decides to collect honey from an apple tree. What happens? He gets chased by bees! “Bee, Bee, bumble bee” is a wonderful rhyming chant. This is a great choosing rhyme and can be used to choose a student to be a line leader, be the next child to demonstrate an activity, etc… “Bee, Bee, Bumble Bee”: “Bee, Bee, Bumble Bee” “Bee, Bee, Bumble Bee, stung a man upon his knee. Stung a pig upon his snout, I declare that you are out!” I have a bee “hand” puppet which I buzz around and tap the children lightly as we say the rhythm chant. I use it as a “choosing” rhyme instead of an “out” rhyme. So in this case, “out” means they are chosen for a particular role. “Apple Tree”: “Apple Tree” During the picnic, Mama bear begins to pick apples from a nearby tree. “Apple Tree” is a fun song and the game was an absolute favorite with my kindergarten students! Activity- Played much like “London Bridge,” the teacher and a student form a bridge with their arms in the air as the rest of the class forms a line to go under the bridge. In this case, the bridge becomes the branches of a tree. On the last phrase of the song, “if your apples knock me out!” The teacher and the students capture a student by bringing their arms down around the child who is “under the bridge, or under the branches.” The students LOVE this game and song! “Apple Tree”: “Apple Tree” “Apple tree, apple tree, sol sol mi sol sol mi will your apples fall on me? sol sol la la sol sol mi I won’t cry, I won’t shout, if your sol sol mi sol sol mi sol sol apples knock me out!” la la sol sol do ! If you understand solfege, the song uses only four pitches. La, Sol, Mi, and Do. These are the sixth, fifth, third and first scale degrees. The solfege is provided underneath the words of the song. If you are not familiar with solfege, ask your music teacher or someone with a musical background to help you learn the song. “Apple Tree” sounds very similar to the beginning of “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear.” It really is a very simple song, but the children love it! 2nd Thematic Unit- Farm Animals Folksongs, rhymes, and books: 2nd Thematic Unit- Farm Animals Folksongs, rhymes, and books Fiddle – I – Fee: A Farmyard Song for the Very Young “Bought Me a Cat” “The Old Grey Cat” “My Little Rooster” “I Had a Little Rooster” Over In the Meadow Fiddle – I – Fee: A Farmyard Song for the Very Young : Fiddle – I – Fee: A Farmyard Song for the Very Young ●This story and song is an old Appalachian folk tale. ●Will Hillenbrand is an author who has breathed new life into the story. ●The song is actually called “Bought Me A Cat,” and can be found on Jill Trinka’s CD entitled, Bought Me A Cat. ●My students love to sing along with the book and create the animal sounds. ●This is another example where the story and the song have slight differences. Embrace these differences by discussing how they are different and how they are similar. ●Activity- After learning the song and adding it to the book, use puppets to help the children act out the animals in the story and remember the sequence. ●Use the song and story with old favorites such as, The Farmer In the Dell and I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Picture source: willhillenbrand.com “My Little Rooster” and “I Had a Little Rooster”: “My Little Rooster” and “I Had a Little Rooster” These songs can be used in conjunction with Fiddle-I–Fee. They are all cumulative songs and lend themselves to further study of the animals themselves and the sounds they make. If creating a farm unit, you may also choose to use the classic children’s song, “The Farmer In the Dell,” and the book titled, Barn Dance! by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. Barn Dance! is a Reading Rainbow book and has a video to accompany it. “I Had a Little Rooster” is included on the Children’s Music CD from the Smithsonian Folkway’s Collection. “My Little Rooster” is on Jill Trinka’s CD entitled, My Little Rooster. Picture source: amazon.com Over In the Meadow: Over In the Meadow This classic children’s story is a wonderful book to use at the end of the day. The song is very soothing and calming. The melody can be found on Jill Trinka’s CD, The Little Black Bull. The students enjoy predicting which animal will come next in the story. To extend this read aloud and singing activity, you may wish to have the students write about their favorite animals. “The Old Grey Cat”: “The Old Grey Cat” This song is a classic children’s folksong that incorporates fast and slow movements, and loud and soft voices. Not only can this activity be used in an animal unit, but also when teaching opposites. Activity- Choose a child to be the cat and choose a child to be the mouse. While the cat sleeps, the mouse creeps up behind the cat. Then the mouse has to run away because the cat wakes up! Have the cat and the mouse choose two new children to take their places. Sing the song while playing the game. In my classroom, I only allow the cat to chase the mouse in and out of the circle three times before they must stop to chose students to take their places. While chasing, the students are on their hands and knees like a cat and a mouse. “The Old Grey Cat” can be found on The Lion Collection CD from The Music Class. www.themusicclass.com 3rd Thematic Unit- Transportation Songs, Rhymes and Books: 3rd Thematic Unit- Transportation Songs, Rhymes and Books Down By the Station “Engine, Engine, #9” “Little Red Caboose” “Take Me Riding in the Car” “Motor Boat, Motor Boat” “Driving Down the Road Today” Down by the Station: Down by the Station Down By the Station: Down By the Station This is a wonderful children’s story and song which can be used as a starting activity in a transportation unit. Get the kids thinking about how trains work by reading them Will Hillenbrand’s version of the story. He extends the story and song lyrics to add a trip to the zoo! Use this book and song in conjunction with, The Little Engine that Could. “Engine, Engine #9”: “Engine, Engine #9” This little chant can be used in a variety of ways. Use this to choose students for specific jobs or become a new leader of an activity. “Engine, Engine, number nine, going down Chicago line, if the train should jump the track, will I get my money back?” “Little Red Caboose”: “Little Red Caboose” Use this song as a movement activity in the classroom. As the teacher, you are the train engine leading the students around the classroom. Choose a child to be the “red caboose.” Activity- Use a small drum to keep the beat as you sing and move around the room so the children can march as you go. Allow the children to choose different caboose colors Also, incorporate slowing down and speeding up just like The Little Engine that Could when he went up the hill and down the hill! This song can be found on The Bear Collection CD from The Music Class. www.themusicclass.com “Riding in My Car”: “Riding in My Car” ●Woody Guthrie is the composer of this classic song. ●Activity-This would be a great song to listen to and then read books about automobiles. Discuss the sounds cars make, how they are shaped, different colors and sizes, etc. ●The educational video titled, “This Land Is Your Land,” is a compilation of Guthrie’s famous children’s songs. It is in cartoon format and has a great animated version of “Riding in My Car!” ●The Song can be found on the Smithsonian Folkways children’s music collection CD. “Motor Boat, Motor Boat”: “Motor Boat, Motor Boat” “Motor Boat, Motor Boat, go so fast! Motor Boat, Motor Boat, step on the gas!” Use this rhyme/chant in your transportation unit to create new rhyming verses and verses to change the speed of the boat. “Driving Down the Road Today”: “Driving Down the Road Today” Activity-Use this song to create new places to visit or “go to”. This song could be a great transition into new activities during the day. Keep the melody but change the words to fit your activity. “Walking down the hall today, we’re going to the library.” This song can be found on The Bunny Collection from The Music Class. www.themusicclass.com Recommended Books : Recommended Books Over In the Meadow Illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats (Puffin June 1, 1999). 140565086. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear by Public Domain and illustrated by Michael Hauge (Harper Festival; Board edition, March 28, 1997). 0688152511. Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle (Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) , September 15, 1996). 0805047905. Polar Bear, Polar Bear What do you Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle (Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); Board edition, September 15, 1997). 0805053883. Goldilocks and the Three Bears Retold by Jane Resnick, Illustrated byYuri Salzman (Tormont Publications, 1992). 2894290780. Recommended Books Cont…: Recommended Books Cont… We’re Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Helen Oxembury (Little Simon, Oct. 1, 1997). 0689815816. Old MacDonald Had a Farm illustrated by Glen Rounds (Holiday House, 1989). This Old Man illustrated by Pam Adams (Child’s Play, 1974). Barn Dance! By Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault (New York: Holt, 1986). 0805007997. Barnyard Banter, by Denise Fleming (New York: Holt, 1994). 080501957X. The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone ( New York: Clarion Books, 1973). Today Is Monday: A Song Book and Wall Frieze by Susan Baum (Harper Collins, 1992). Recommended CD’s Click on the hyperlink to find the music on the World Wide Web: Recommended CD’s Click on the hyperlink to find the music on the World Wide Web Bought Me a Cat: Jill Trinka Jillybean JB CD 5302 John, the Rabbit: Jill Trinka Jillybean JB CD 5303 The Little Black Bull: Jill Trinka Jillybean JB CD 5304 American Folk Songs for Children: Mike & Peggy Seeger West Music #850711 Animal Folk Songs for Children: Seeger family West Music #850713 Amazon.com: Smithsonian Folkways Children's Music Collection: Music: Various Artists Themes & Variations - Singing Games Amazon.com: Animal Folk Songs for Children: Music: Mike Seeger,Peggy Seeger,Penny Seeger,Barbara Seeger The Music Class Store - Music, CDs, Instruments for young children. Amazon.com: Old Joe Clark: Music: John M. Feierabend,Jill Trinka Music, CDs and Songbooks for Babies, Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers Things to remember when reading, singing and moving around the classroom ….: Things to remember when reading, singing and moving around the classroom …. Revisit favorite stories Allow the children to become the characters, and create new sounds, movements and verses to the song/rhyme. Use rhythm instruments to create effect and bring the book to life. Ask the music teacher if you can borrow musical instruments if you do not have any in your classroom. Approach your PTA with reasons why you would like to have a set of rhythm instruments in your classroom. Be prepared to give research based evidence as to why the students would benefit. Examples include, Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory and Edwin Gordon’s Music Learning Theory. References: References Nicholson-Nelson, K. (1998). Developing students’ multiple intelligences. New York: Scholastic. Rosenblatt, L. (1978). The reader, the text, the poem: The transactional theory of the literary work, Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. Sandoval, P. (1998). Fixing the cracks and class size reduction. The California Reader, 3, 28-29. Howell, J. (1999-2000) Motivating Students through Music and Literature. Reading Teacher, v53 n4 p284-87 Dec-Jan. Booth Church, E. (2006) Group Time: Enlivening Literature with Music and Movement. Early Childhood Today (3), v20 n6 p44-45. Yopp, H.K., and Yopp, R.H. (1996). Oo-pples and boo-noo-noos: Songs and activities for phonemic awareness. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace. Contact Information: Contact Information Questions can be directed to, Audrey Meixner email@example.com Thank you!