Song power

In my advanced class today, we started by playing “Simon says,” because my relo was very cold and we needed to warm it up. I managed to work in a lot of animate accusative phrases.

Then we listened to the song I’d picked for today. It’s kind of a quiet one, but I’ve noticed that when I print out a songsheet for them with blanks on some words, they listen intently all three times that I play it, and then they’re ready to sing it already the next time. It makes a big difference, maybe because of their concentration. They seem to buy in more.

This song was a girl saying to another girl that she can make it, even alone, but that sometimes life does resemble fairytales. One doesn’t need to hurry; good will come along. I asked the kids whom she is singing to. At first, we had a sort of normal discussion that she is singing to herself to be strong and to not be sad about the guy who dropped her. But then it morphed into a story about a mom singing to her daughter (a 17-year-old) who fell in love with a boy who went off to the war, leaving her alone. The boy was in a hot-air balloon when he died, but not of war. . .

It doesn’t usually help me to hear the specific stories from others, unless they are good for story skeletons, so I won’t put in all the details here. I just think that it’s really interesting to ask the kids details about a song and let them decide who was singing and what the back story might have been. I think that tomorrow, I will ask them to work in small groups to tell the story of their choice, because there was some disagreement out there in the room, and it would be fun to hear all the details that they believe in.

In my first level 1 class of the day, we had two boys playing Poor Anna and her mother, and we were almost rolling on the floor laughing. The same two boys always play those roles. I used to think it wasn’t fair not to share out the roles, but Blaine at least says that if you have a sure thing, go for it.

And as long as I’m recounting the day…the intermediate class bombed. I don’t know why. Well, yes, I do…discipline was not in place, and I was not yanking in the offenders. If discipline precedes instruction, there is no real chance of instruction when offenders continue yacking. Seating chart tomorrow!!

One more class of mostly level 1’s to go. Hope you’ve all had good days, since mine ends after everyone else’s in the country!


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