Category Archives: Chants


I’m posting this so as not to lose it.Thanks for the suggestion, Jody!

Diana is going to sent out an e-mail of the ideas from yesterday, but I wanted to share this first. I’ll post any e-mail she sends in the comments.

It was fabulous to get together with a bunch of colleagues at this stress-filled time of the year. We spent time talking about frustrations and brainstorming ways to reel in the non-performers and to re-run all the structures that some kids hadn’t “got” yet. Then we talked about who’s doing what for finals. Finally, I threw myself into being coached and taught a song but forgot to do what I said I wanted to work on. That was dumb. Luckily Betsy was there and took over as a coach.

Anne talked about hearing a “chant and rhythm” group at ACTFL, so Yan got up to do a chant in Chinese with us. Wow! That was powerful! As Diana said, it was the clearest Chinese we’d ever heard! What was truly amazing about it was how Yan used her whole body to dance out the rhythm, and how much that helped us get the sounds. Then Betsy shared a grammar gesture “battle” she’d learned about, and we got those Japanese phrases down lickety split. I got inspired by all of this and practiced a chant to teach a difficult line from the Russian translation of “Jingle Bells.” When we sang it, the whole group boomed out that line. Again, I felt the power of the rhyme and chant combination. Yan had done it with snaps, and she changed the rhythm pattern up part-way through. I wasn’t having much success, at first, but then changed to fit the rhythm of the song, and that’s when it really clicked.

Anne shared a structured sharing that I thought would be good for Mondays. It went something like this: I was at (x) on (x) and guess who I saw! (Class says Who?) I saw (x). (Class says Ohhh.) S/he looked really (x). (Class says Why?) Sample: I was at Maxim’s on Saturday night. I saw Britney Spears. She looked really sad. She had just broken up with…

Then obviously a story could start–Anne suggested that it could be a way to start some gossip.