Preparing for September? Now I teach year round, (private lessons are open at the student’s request) but still get a soft spot for the month of September. And I love the combination of poetry and song to get me in the mood for fuller classes. Super favorites with children of all ages include all the books by Shel Silverstein, but I have a special space for the poems he wrote, or shared, which have a musical component.
Did you know that “The Unicorn“* began as a song first recorded by the Irish Rovers in 1962? The beauty of folk songs was that they became “singable” for everyone (Bob Dylan didn’t create the genre) 🙂
And what folk songs offer is the initiation into the importance of rhythm and cadence to help move both a song and a story along. We sing lullabies to our children regardless of what language we are speaking in the home; we coo, and murmur, and if someone has a set of words to go with these coos- then so much the better. With these interactions we are starting the process of literacy. So please, coo, murmur and hum to your children, plus if you can find them, put on the music and let the children ( join in too; they won’t mind if you are off key!) belt it out.
Here is a sample: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EPsuOEH1fY
– “those green alligators and long necked beasts” will have the kids jumping up and down- and you can be sure and find others that offer the same tongue challenges while giving everyone a chance to PLAY!
To add to the process grab some chalk and see if the children can draw the images -( one of the better uses of sidewalks- but be aware, children often enjoy hearing something again, and again, and again….
Shel Silverstein: collection of poetry for children – Full lyrics to the Unicorn may be found in his book