I’m still reflecting on that lesson plan ‘Be Kind to Animals’ with children 3-5 years-old. Our melody and harmony instrument song, ‘Little Girl Little Girl‘, was about an adult asking a child if they had fed the animals their correct food. We came up with this lovely variation as we applied it to the real animals handled by the children in their homes: ‘Little boy little boy, Yes mum, Did you feed my stick insects, Yes mum, What did you feed them? Gum leaves and water’. Not every pet is a dog, cat or budgie! Parents provide a lot of the humour in my classes. During the drama and movement section of the lesson we had the kids at one end of the room being donkeys, while the adults lined up at the other end getting ready to call ‘Come little donkey, come.’ One mum said ‘Is this an obedience test?’ Must have looked like puppy training! Anyway, the pups were very funny and couldn’t wait for the prompt line. They came tearing down the length of the hall as soon as we sang the first word ‘Tingalayo‘. The kids were using hobby-horses as donkeys and did a great rendition of ‘my donkey kicks with his two hind feet’ by flicking up the stick between their legs. Be careful if you try this- we don’t want nasty injuries in music class.
‘Ding Dong Bell‘, our story song, about a boy rescuing a cat from being drowned by another child, was taken very seriously. I sang it twice showing two completely different illustrations, my favourite being the one by Kate Greenaway as shown.
Stories from home this week: Mum of Sammy told me they are now playing a game where each takes a turn singing a line of a song- oh, and Sammy is not yet three. ‘Sometimes’ mum said, ‘we take a word each. Now that’s a lot harder.’ I love my mums, dads, grandparents and carers of all description. Mum of Robby and younger sibling Ged tells me that the family room is now a music classroom and Robby tells everyone in the family what to do next imitating moi! I like that story- it’s got me in it. Another mum whose child manifests some speech delay tells us that he will stop a tantrum if she plays a selection of classical music. His favourite is a Beethoven piece. We’re waiting to find out which one so we can all try it!
Best overheard ‘kid-English’ for the week. Q.’Which old are you?’ A ‘Free and a half.’
(Note: children’s real names are not used.)