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Songs, Chants, and Stories to Keep Kids Humming
Love of language, which leads to the love of reading, starts at birth, with parents crooning nursery rhymes and singing the songs they heard from their parents. The rhymes of childhood have been around forever, and if you think back for a while, you'll remember some of the ones you used to sing and chant. Songs, poems, and stories are all soulmates.
This musical, hands-on workshop demonstrates some of the ways songs and music can be used to get children excited about words, rhymes, stories, and books. Whether you are reading aloud to children or introducing a new unit in the curriculum, a related song, chant, or story can help children ease into the mood to learn.
Singing crazy songs allows children an extra bit of freedom to act silly, to laugh, and to experiment with words and wordplay. In school, aside from a once-a-week music period, many children never sing for pleasure. Music should be an intrinsic part of a child's daily routine, at school and at home. Mnemonic devices, performed as chants, and songs are a natural and welcome help when introducing new stories or skills.
What better way to have children practice their reading than by handing out song lyrics to sing "with feeling," just as we want them to read aloud "with expression." Somehow, even kids with reading difficulties can follow a songsheet if they've heard the song once or twice, as they start to memorize the words and see how they flow together. From my own observation, I see that kids who sing together on a regular basis feel good about themselves and about their classmates.
I've collected, written, and set to music hundreds of songs, poems, stories, and chants. For this workshop, based on my book, Hi Ho Librario: Songs, Chants, and Stories to Keep Kids Humming (Rock Hill Press, 1997, sadly out of print as of 2010, we concentrate on ways to integrate an eclectic array of songs, chants, and storytelling into books and reading, nonsense and folklore, and the curriculum at large. Included in the program are background information and ideas for using language, plus an annotated bibliography of children's book tie-ins, all of them topnotch read-alouds you can use to present songs and vice versa.
I give germs of ideas for using each song as a tie-in to daily classroom and library life, with the goal that each small suggestion will strike a chord with you and resonate as you design lessons to keep kids humming. My songs and suggestions aim to loosen up your children and get them excited about words, language, books, reading, singing, and trading marvelous nonsense with each other.