February 22, 2013

A "Note"worthy Method for Teaching

Besides being a teacher, I am a musician and singer. I constantly have music floating through my head and I generally walk to a beat. As a result I have always tried to include music in my teaching. Setting facts and concepts to a familiar tune and teaching it to children results in a quicker and longer retention rate of material.  It does take a bit of time to set your instructional content to music, but with the advent of YouTube it is easy to locate a piece of music for just about any concept that you must teach. Just ask the parents of  my current sixth grade class.

I had the pleasure of working with this group of students when they were in fourth grade, teaching them Science. I introduced the concept of the periodic table and its features to them during a unit on "Kitchen Chemistry." Pretty heavy stuff for fourth graders! However, knowing that these children LOVED to sing, I went in search of some music about this concept. I found a few gems on YouTube that were suitable for this age group and shared them with the class. One turned out to be quite a treasure! They beg me to let them sing it TO THIS DAY (two years later) and they have gone on to write additional verses. Nearly every one of my current sixth graders is able to recite AT LEAST the first 20 elements in the periodic table thanks to this video.

With that being said, I am pulling out an old, old song I used years ago in my Language Arts classes, one to help my students learn the purpose of each of the eight Parts of Speech. It's been hidden in a drawer of my desk, collecting dust far too long. It served my students well at one time, and since my class this year LOVES to sing, it's time to air it out once again. It was developed by me and a few staff members who were attending an afterschool inservice about multiple intelligences and thematic planning (hint as to the decade). 

Parts of Speech song

Sung to the tune of "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush"

What are the parts of speech, parts of speech, parts of speech?
What are the parts of speech?
Listen well and learn!

Nouns,verbs and interjections, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions,
Conjunctions and adjectives
Are the parts of speech.

A noun is a naming word, naming word, naming word.
A noun is a naming word,
a person, place, or thing.

A verb is an action word, an action word, an action word.
A verb is an action word or
am, is, are, was, were.

A pronoun renames a noun, renames a noun, renames a noun.
A pronoun renames a noun:
she, he, it, they, we.

An adjective's a describing word, describing word, describing word.
An adjective's a describing word;
it tells about a noun.

An adverb describes a verb, describes a verb, describes a verb.
An adverb describes a verb:
how, when, where, how much.

Interjections shows surprise, show surprise, show surprise.
Interjections show surprise.
Oh my gosh!

Conjunctions are joining words, joining words, joining words.
Conjunctions are joining words:
and, but, or, for, yet.

In, around, about, behind, over, under, up, inside,
Into, during, with, before
These are prepositions.

Now you know the parts of speech, parts of speech, parts of speech.
Now you know the parts of speech.
You will use them in your writing.

Please feel free to borrow this song and use it with your students. I'd love to hear how the experience goes.

The Teacher's Desk 6

Teach Junkie Creative Ideas


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