I just realized that December 9 is coming fast. That’s the day for our yearly world language holiday songfest, so I have to teach my first-year kids three songs pretty quickly so that they can sound like they know what they’re doing that day. And this week, we meet only once, meaning I’ve got only seven days of class after Thanksgiving to get three songs in. The first one is about a New Year’s tree who is born in the forest, and she grows into a beautiful tree in the summer heat and winter frost. I started a story about a bear who grew in the summer by eating a lot and in the winter by sleeping a lot. I really should have switched it. Maybe we’ll do a parallel bear for Monday. Or maybe I will say that the tree sleeps a lot in the summer and eats in the winter. Possible, right? We’ll see what the kids say. Anyway, by the time I stood them up to learn the words for the song, they had internalized the meanings of those words, and we could do a little of comparing of the bear and the tree. When I played it, they started singing right away, surprising me. Knowing the song’s meaning must make it really clear.
I do like this song a lot, because it has many critical structures for telling about a person’s life. We ask kids where they were born, and where they grew up. They can come up with great inventions. And phew! One song’s first verse is down!