Recently, my preschoolers (mixed ages of 3, 4, and 5 year-olds) were learning about rhyming words in their classroom. I was able to discover this as I like to go into their classrooms at 8:30 once a week to begin their day with some music time. Usually, one afternoon a week, they will come to my music room. However, I love the additional 8:30 time as it gives them some structure after their morning dropoff and I also get them at a great time of the day when they are nicely focused.
Rhyming Words in Music Class…
When I discovered that they were learning about rhyming words, I sang the echo song (step 2 of Dr. Feierabend’s 8-step workout found in First Steps in Music for Preschool and Beyond) Down By The Bay, as they echoed the phrases. During the next class that same week, I used the book to show the visuals of the rhyming word as we sang.
The next week, I brought markers and paper. We sang the song again. I then asked them to draw two rhyming pictures such as whale and tail. I was so impressed by their imaginations. Even though it is just me with twelve to thirteen preschoolers, I was able to move around the room and write out their rhyming words (some of the older ones were writing some of the letters in their rhyming words). There were some wonderfully unique word combinations like:
- dog and log (Did you ever see a dog sitting on a log?)
- shark and bark (Did you ever see a shark eating bark?)
- rat and bat (Did you ever see a rat sitting on a bat?)
- flower and tower (Did you ever see a tower standing with a flower?)
There were also some who made up nonsense words so that they rhymed with the word that they loved. One was, “Did you ever see a purple wearing a durple?”
Creating ebooks of Their Verses
Once finished, I took their pictures and placed them in an ebook. To do this, I launched the Book Creator app. Book Creator has an iOS and a web-based version. I used the iOS version and took a picture of the drawing using the camera tool found within the app. Once I had each student’s picture on their own page, I brought my iPad with me to the next music class.
We started the class by singing our hello song, warming up our voices with a pitch exploration, then opening the ebook of their version of Down By The Bay. Their eyes lit up when they saw their pictures on the iPad’s screen. When I told them we were going to record their verse into the book, they got very excited. I tapped the “+” button in Book Creator and then tapped the microphone. I asked the student whose drawing was on the page if they wanted all of us to sing or just the student. Some had everyone sing their verses. Some had just themselves sing a solo. When finished, we had an interactive ebook of their drawings and recordings that we could share with the parents either by publishing to Book Creator’s website and sharing the link, or exporting as a video and app smashing it to their Seesaw journals.
After we did this, the next class, one of my 4-year-olds brought me a spider made out of pipe cleaners. He wanted his class to create the song using the spider. We ended up recording three verses about the spider, like this: “Did the spider eat a peach down by the beach?” I was in awe of their creativity and improvising more lyrics to the song. We are currently creating another ebook for this song.
March is Music in our Schools Month
Here is an article that was featured on NAfME’s website about celebrating Music in the Schools Month with early childhood and younger elementary students. I hope that it is helpful for Music in Our Schools Month!