Thursday, January 21, 2010

How can a pair of new shoes turn into a lesson?

This story is a bit convoluted but I think it is worth telling because it shows how a moment in the day can blossom into an incredible learning experience.

Tuesday, before school I was listening to a song/video my friend, Anne, sent me. The song was written by Anne's friend, about Anne's husband's new shoes. While I was listening, David came into the room and heard Obama's name in the song and froze in his spot to listen. He was so interested that I decided to play the song for the whole class.

Before playing the song, I introduced it (a mini civics lesson). I asked the class if anyone kne w someone famous who lives in Washington D.C. One child came up with the president. I explained my friend lived there too. Her husband works for congressman George Miller of California. No one knew what a congress person does. We discusses that many people help run the country, not just the president. Each State votes for people to be in Congress and these people help make decisions for the country. Then we listened to the song. The children were mesmerized.
Click song to hear.

I took pictures of the event and sent them to Anne so she would know how much we appreciated it. She forwarded it to the song writer, her dad, and Congressman George Miller.

While the emails were flying around the country, I asked Jan, our fabulous music teacher, if I could share it with the other K/1 class during music class. She was thrilled because she is going to start doing song writing with the classes soon.

Next I received an email from the songwriter, Marika Partridge. I read it to the children:
"I cannot believe there is VISUAL EVIDENCE of this inspiring teaching moment! Thank you Elaine. The picture made me howl with delight! I want to write another song for those darling and attentive kids in Michigan."
She also wondered if the children knew what the word "kicks" meant. (a vocabulary lesson) We listened to the song again. The children concluded that "kicks" must be shoes and "nix" must mean no. How fun!

So from a song to a civics lesson to a music lesson to a vocabulary lesson to expanding our SK "community" to people in Washington D.C.

1 comment:

Imogen said...

I wish I could have been one of the children in your class on this day!