Grasshoppers, Butterflies, and Spiders

While our summer was filled with many opportunities to enjoy the nature of Minnesota, it was also a busy time of successfully completing my MA degree. Now we have time to share many more ideas with you!

On our second day back at school, my Grade One students found a giant grasshopper outside of our classroom. It was as big as a praying mantis. We took it into our classroom. What an exciting way to begin our new school year!

Giant grasshopper

Giant grasshopper

Children are fascinated with living creatures–especially insects and other mini-beasts. While some children may be a bit timid about holding certain insects, most seem to enjoy them.

Here are a couple of activities that you can easily do in your classroom.

1.  Simple, Invented Songs

It’s easy to nurture creativity in young learners through music.  Try “playing” with words.

Here’s a simple pattern to create a song or chant.

I Love Bugs!

I like ladybugs. (longer word, 2-3 syllables)

I like ants. (shorter word, 1-2 syllables)

I like bumblebees. (longer word, 2-3 syllables)

I love bugs!

 

Students choose three insects for their song, usually one shorter word, and two longer words.

When young children sing, they often use so and mi in their invented songs.  You can use so and mi for this song, too.

My students think it’s funny to sing the negative form of this. I don’t like ______.  I hate bugs!

 

Another activity to help students play with words is to repeat the first consonant of a word, such as /b/ /b/ /b/ /b/ Bees!  Bees!

2. Stories

I love using stories with my students–especially predictable ones.  A predictable story uses repetition, similar to the way a song might have a chorus.  It might have repeated words, phrases, sentences, and other patterns.  New characters, new events, and other surprises keep the children guessing about what’s going to happen next.

Story: The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

This story shows how a spider gradually spins a web. In my edition of this book, students can also feel the change in the web as it gets bigger.  You can read the book to your students in a traditional manner, but you can use the pictures in the book like flash cards to help you tell the story.

A.  Pre-read by looking at the pictures of the animals in the book.  You can chant this pattern, or sing it to the melody of “The Farmer in the Dell.”

The horse says “Neigh!”
The horse says “Neigh!”
Let’s play together. “Neigh! Neigh! Neigh!”

Many animals visit the spider, but the spider continues to spin the web.
Repeat with the other animals from the story (cow, sheep, goat, pig, dog, duck, rooster).

The cow says “Moo!”
The cow says “Moo!”
Let’s play together. “Moo! Moo! Moo!”

The phrase for the rooster is longer than the rest.

“Cock-a-doodle-doo!”  “Cock-a-doodle-doo!”  Let’s play together. “Cock-a-doodle-doo!”

B. Now add the following chant pattern.

(But the spider said . . . )
Sorry. I’m busy. I’m spinning a web.
Busy, busy, busy. I’m spinning a web.

Add gestures to help children remember the language. Change your voice to express the sounds of the animals.

C.  Now I “read” the story by showing the children the pictures of the animals and singing the animal songs. I show students the web in the book.  With a small class, students can feel the texture of the web on the page. On subsequent readings, you can draw the web on a whiteboard as the story progresses by drawing a couple of lines at a time.  If your students can sit in a circle, you can even create a yarn web by passing a ball of yarn from one student to one across on the other side.

D.  At the very end, an owl comes and the spider is sleeping.

Whisper . . . .

The spider was busy, but she’s sleeping now.
Sh! Sh! Be quiet!  She’s sleeping now.

*Another fun predictable story with insects and animals is Lily and the Moon by Mari Nakamura and Patricia Daly Oe.

3.  Find It!

You can look for insects outside with your students.  You can also find them in books! In Magic Time One, Unit One, Annie and Ted are outside playing.  In addition to finding the target vocabulary, students can look for animals and insects on these pages too.  They can find a dragonfly, grasshopper, rabbit, turtle, frog, squirrel, bird, butterfly, and caterpillar.  We love to add little surprises for the students to discover.

Enjoy this season of insects and mini-beasts!  Happy teaching!

 

 

Let’s Do the Hokey Pokey Like An Easter Bunny!

"Easter Bunnies On Grass" by Grant Cochrane
“Easter Bunnies On Grass” by Grant Cochrane

Here’s a new version of a familiar song, The Hokey Pokey. For this song, however, students pretend to be Easter Bunnies.

Say to your students, Let’s make two long ears! Pantomime the movement. Ask, What else do we need? Students may offer different answers, such as two big feet, a bunny tail, bunny paws, bunny whiskers, a bunny nose. This song teaches the names of body parts as well as the directional movements in, out, around. Students have a lot of fun jumping and shaking. Students practice the lyrics and movement slowly, then the same lyrics quickly.

Make a circle with students. Sing Let’s Make A Circle. (Click here to see how to sing this song.)

Say, Show me your Easter Bunny ears. Let’s put them in, and then out. Pantomime this movement with students.

Say, Let’s shake our Easter Bunny ears. Pantomime shaking your ears happily! Now jump up and down in place. Then, turn around and say, Happy Easter! My students love to jump really high on this part!

Learn the names of each of the body parts in this song – ears, feet, tail, tummy, whole self.

Now you’re ready to join in with the music. To help students practice first, sing slowly. Then sing it faster the second time.

Here are a few of my students demonstrating parts of this song for you. Click here to watch.  Enjoy!

Easter Bunny Hop

Words by Kathleen Kampa

music: Hokey Pokey

on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays, available through iTunes

Slowly: You put your bunny ears in.

You put your bunny ears out.

You put your bunny ears in. And you shake them all about.

Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake!

Jump like a bunny. Jump, jump, jump!

Turn around and shout! Happy Easter!

Then sing quickly . . .

You put your bunny ears in.

You put your bunny ears out.

You put your bunny ears in. And you shake them all about.

Shake, shake, shake! (* three shakes!)

Jump like a bunny. Jump, jump, jump!

Turn around and shout! Happy Easter!

Repeat each verse slowly, then quickly with these body parts.

2. You put your bunny feet in.

3. You put your bunny tail in.

4. You put your bunny tummy in.

5. You put your whole self in.

The studio version of this song can be found on iTunes on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays, track #7. Click here to take you there!

Special Days and Holidays

Check out these cute Easter Bunny masks for little ones. bunny mask tutorial_with watermark-1

Thanks to http://eastcoastmommyblog.blogspot.ca/2012/03/roundup-10-easter-crafts-for-kids.html

Video

Hop Along Easter Bunny (Dance)

In my last post, I explained two ways to teach this song. Here’s a video of my students sharing this dance with you. You can find the lyrics in my blog post “Hop Along Easter Bunny.” If you like this music, check out my CD Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays, available on iTunes and CD Baby.

 

Special Days and Holidays

Hop Along Easter Bunny

 

These Easter Bunny ears are a fun way to celebrate! Here's Brooke having fun in Tokyo.

These Easter Bunny ears are a fun way to celebrate!
Here’s Brooke having fun in Tokyo.

Easter is just around the corner! Holidays give us an opportunity to teach students about culture. Our students will learn this song this week, and do the follow-up activity created by Setsuko Toyama. Perhaps your students would like to learn these activities too!

To teach my students about Easter, I usually bring some plastic Easter eggs, a basket, and a picture of the Easter Bunny. During a recent trip to Vietnam, I bought a rabbit puppet to use for this song. If you don’t have a puppet, you can use your fingers to create a bunny.

What can the Easter Bunny do? The Easter Bunny hops along. He tiptoes and hides colorful Easter eggs. Finally, he runs away. Perhaps your students will have some additional ideas of their own!

When I teach young learners, I like to use many different ways to introduce, practice, and review new language.  Sing this song in three different ways–first as a fingerplay, then moving around a circle, and finally, moving around the classroom.  I’ve made a simple video for you to help you learn it as a fingerplay.

For the fingerplay, if possible, sit on the floor with the students.  Stretch your legs out in front of you.  Make an Easter Bunny by raising two fingers.  Bounce your fingers up and down your legs as if you’re hopping.

Hop along Easter Bunny, hop along.

Hop along Easter Bunny, hop along.

Hop along Easter Bunny, Hop along Easter Bunny,

Hop along Easter Bunny, hop along.

Young children love surprises. Each time I sing one line, I quickly bring my fingers back to where I started.

On the longer line, continue hopping. My students find it funny when I bring my fingers over my head and along my arm.

On the second verse, pretend to tiptoe using your fingers.

Tiptoe Easter Bunny, tiptoe.

Tiptoe Easter Bunny, tiptoe.

Tiptoe Easter Bunny, Tiptoe Easter Bunny,

Tiptoe Easter Bunny, tiptoe.

On the third verse, pretend to pick up an egg and hide it beside you or behind you.

Hide the eggs Easter Bunny, hide the eggs.

Hide the eggs Easter Bunny, hide the eggs.

Hide the eggs Easter Bunny, Hide the eggs Easter Bunny,

Hide the eggs Easter Bunny, hide the eggs.

On the last verse, pretend to run away.

Run away Easter Bunny, run away.

Run away Easter Bunny, run away.

Run away Easter Bunny, Run away Easter Bunny,

Run away Easter Bunny, run away.

Now it’s time to stand up and magically turn all of your students into Easter Bunnies. Say, Put on your ears, your whiskers, your tails, and your great big feet!

Make a circle with your students.  Sing this transitional song to get ready.

Transitional Song: Let’s make a circle big and round (4X)

https://magictimekids.com/2013/09/23/transitional-songs-part-one/

Moving around a circle keeps everyone focused. Decide which way students will move around the circle, clockwise or counterclockwise.  Then students will:

1. hop like a bunny (They might use their hands to make bunny ears or a bunny tail.)

2. tiptoe quietly

3. pretend to hide eggs

4. run

Students like to stop and pose at the end of each verse,

Hop along Easter Bunny, hop along.

Hop along Easter Bunny, hop along.

Hop along Easter Bunny, Hop along Easter Bunny, hop along 

Hop along Easter Bunny, hop along (and pose!)

Finally, students can move around the classroom. My students enjoy having half of the class pretend to Easter Bunnies while the others are pretend to sleep. The Easter Bunnies dance the song by moving around the children.

Here’s a simple video of my students moving in a circle to this music.

For the studio version of this song, go to iTunes and click on Track #6 of Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays. Special Days and Holidays

 

Here’s a quiet follow-up activity created by Setsuko Toyama.  Students use critical thinking skills to figure out which egg has been chosen.

Easter Eggs

Secretly choose one egg. Give one hint at a time, such as It’s pink.  Students can guess, Is it number three?  Add another hint.  It has blue polka dots.  Students guess again. Is it number one?  

After modeling this activity for the class, have students work in small groups or partners. Make a copy for each student.

Have fun celebrating Easter!

 

 

 

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Transitional Songs, Part Two

Dot

(Note: This is our second blog post on transitional songs. Our first blog post, entitled “Transitional Songs Part One,” was posted on September 23, 2013. Please scroll down this page to our earlier blog posts to find it, or simply click here. Thanks!)

In any children’s class, many activities are needed to keep students happy and motivated throughout the lesson. Transitional songs are a perfect way to signal to children that one activity is ending and another is beginning. A good transitional song also has other benefits:

  1. It supports the natural rhythm and intonation of the phrase or sentence you are using.
  2. The melody is quickly learned and recognized by students, so they move into action as soon as they hear it.
  3. In most cases, children can be encouraged to sing along, building group cohesion as well as productive language skills.
  4. Transitional songs soon become part of a classroom routine, giving students a sense of structure and making them feel secure during the lesson.

Today, for Part Two, we present a variety of transitional songs that help to make activities smooth and enjoyable for students.

1. Open Your Books

This song is a great way to motivate students to open their student books to the correct page.

Open Your Books  (copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina)

Open your books. Please open your books. (gesture)

(Spoken) Turn to page _________.

(Write this page number on the board, or show the number with your fingers. Hold the book open to show the page to students, then check to be sure all students are ready.) 

Open your books.

 2. Let’s Make a Line

This transitional song quickly motivates children to form a line in the classroom, either for an activity or when they are preparing to leave the classroom.

Let’s Make a Line  (copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina)

(melody:  Skip To My Lou)

Let’s make a line long and straight,

Let’s make a line long and straight,

Let’s make a line long and straight,

Let’s make a line long and straight.

 3. Find a Friend

This is a great chant to use when students need to find a partner. Demonstrate this chant with one student first. Decide how students will show that they are partners. They can stand back-to-back, touch palms, sit facing each other knee-to-knee, etc.

Practice finding partners before you actually do your activity.

Find a Friend  (copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina)

Find a friend, find a friend,

before I can count to ten.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9—— 10!    Hooray!

 4. Goodbye Children

This is a fun way to say goodbye to your students at the end of the lesson!

Goodbye (copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina)

(melody: Good Night Ladies)

Good-bye children!  Good-bye children!

Good-bye children!  It’s time for you to go.

Clap your hands and walk along, walk along, walk along,

Clap your hands and walk along, I’ll see you very soon.

Good-bye children!  Good-bye children!

Good-bye children!  It’s time for you to go.

5. We Did It!

We Did It! (copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina)

We did it!  We did it!  We did it today!

We did it!  We did it!  Hip hip hooray!

We did it!  We did it!  We did it today!

We did it!  We did it!  Hip hip hooray!

 (Note: The following transitional songs can be found on our blog post entitled “Transitional Songs, Part One.” Please scroll down to our earlier blog posts to find these songs and the recordings for them, or simply click here.)
Let’s Make a Circle
Come and Sit In Front of Me
Cards Please

(All songs and chants in this blog are copyright © 2012 by Kathleen Kampa)

Happy teaching, everyone!!

Kathy and Chuck

3

Be My Valentine!

Be My Valentine cover art by Shuli Ko

Be My Valentine cover art by Shuli Ko

Valentine’s Day is on February 14th, just a short time away! To celebrate the occasion, I wrote a song that my young learners love to sing and move to. It’s entitled “Be My Valentine.” This song helps children learn the shape and sound of the letter “V.”

Children also explore how to make the shape of a heart with their hands, their arms, or with a partner.

The easiest way to demonstrate how to use this song is to view a video I created with my two nieces, Brooke and Shannon.

Just click HERE to see the video!

To hear and buy the studio version of the song, just click HERE on iTunes for the single, or HERE for the album (Track #4).

I hope that you and your children enjoying singing and moving to this song together, either at home or in the classroom!

Sending warm Valentine wishes,

Kathy and Chuck

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Let’s Celebrate the New Year!

%22Happy New Year 2014 Card46%22 by gubgib

“Happy New Year 2014 Card46” image courtesy of gubgib / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s already January 3rd, yet here in Japan, New Year’s celebrations continue. O-shogatsu (New Year’s) begins on the night of Dec. 31st and continues for three days. Tonight we’ll be enjoying o-sechi ryori, traditional New Year’s foods, with our Japanese friends. Starting on Monday, I’ll be back in the classroom with my students. Here are two songs I’ve written to teach my students about New Year’s celebrations. The first song was written with my son Christian when he was in elementary school. He and Chuck are singing it for you!

Happy New Year

Words and music by Christian Vilina and Kathleen Kampa

copyright © 2013 by Kathleen Kampa

Happy New Year!  Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Hip hip hooray!

My students love to keep a “steady beat” by patting their legs, then clapping their hands.  Think “pat-clap-pat-clap.” Do this for the first three lines.

We like to do something special on the last line.

On Happy New Year!  my students like to wave their hands above their heads. More advanced students like to turn around quickly!

On Hip hip hooray! students roll their hands and jump once in place.

To hear the studio version of this song, go to iTunes, and click on Track #3.

________________________________________________

And now for our second New Year’s song! . . .

In the Chinese or lunar calendar, this is the Year of the Horse. Here in Japan, we already began celebrating the Year of the Horse on January 1st.

In this song, students learn the name of the animal, how to spell the animal name, and how to say “2014.”

It’s The Year

Words by Kathleen Kampa

copyright © 2013 by Kathleen Kampa

Medley of songs based on French song “Marlbrough s’en va-t-en guerre” (For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow) and BINGO

It’s the year of the horse,

It’s the year of the horse,

It’s the year of the horse,

It’s 2014.

H–o–r-s-e, h–o–r-s-e, h–o–r-s-e,

It’s the year of the horse!

1. Display the image of the horse. There are twelve animals in the lunar calendar. What do your students know about horses? Can they make a pose like a horse? Can they gallop like a horse? What other movements do horses do?

If you have a small space, have students create a pose when they sing the word “horse.” If you have a larger space, students may enjoy galloping in a circle while singing “It’s the year of the horse.”

2. Write the number 2014 on the board. My students like to make these numbers with their fingers. Try this:

Hold up two fingers for “two,” then move two fingers in a circle to say “thousand.” For fourteen, students hold up one finger on their left hand, and four fingers on their right.

When you sing the song, students stop in place and do the finger movements on “It’s 2014!” Students can even wave their hands in the air!

3. Now your students are ready to spell. Write the word horse on the board. Use lower case letters. Say the letters with your students.

Then clap the rhythm while saying the letters.

You can encourage your students to make different sounds for this rhythm by patting their legs, stamping their feet, or snapping their fingers. You can even add simple instruments.

4. Finish the song with a horse pose on “It’s the year of the horse!”

We hope you enjoy these New Year songs with your students!

Happy Teaching!

Kathy and Chuck

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It’s Christmas Time!

%22Christmas Gingerbreads%22 by nuchylee

“Christmas Gingerbreads” image courtesy of nuchylee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Christmas Day is not far away! Here is a song I wrote that my students love to sing and move to. My dear friend and Oxford co-author Setsuko Toyama from Niigata, Japan, created this wonderful activity sheet and picture cards to go with it. Just click below and print them!

It’s Christmas Time-Song by K. Kampa, Handout by S. Toyama

The steps to the activity are as follows:

1.  Teach the six new words using the picture cards. Create a gesture for each word.

2.  As a critical thinking activity, place the pictures for hear, smell, and see in a column on the left side of the board. Place the pictures for gingerbread, jingle bells, and Christmas tree in a column on the right side. Point to the hear card as you ask students, “What can you hear?” When students answer, “jingle bells,” draw a line from hear to jingle bells. Continue in the same way with the other words. In addition, you may ask questions such as, “Can you smell a Christmas tree? Can you see jingle bells?” and so on.

3.  Hand out a copy of the activity sheet to each student. Play the song. As students listen, they point to the lyrics with illustrations (known as a rebus).

4.  Play the song again, with students standing in a circle or at their desks. On each verse, pantomime the movement with your students. For a performance, you could have different groups perform each of the verses. On the chorus, students turn around slowly on “Christmas, Christmas.” On “Time to celebrate” students clap their hands three times. On “We can hardly wait,” students hug themselves, then reach their hands up high!

We hope you enjoy this wonderful Christmas song and activity!

It’s Christmas Time

Words by Kathleen Kampa, copyright © 2013 by Kathleen Kampa

(music adapted from The Muffin Man)

 1. Do you hear the jingle bells,

the jingle bells, the jingle bells?

Do you hear the jingle bells?

It’s Christmas time!

 Chorus:

Christmas! Christmas! Time to celebrate!  XX

Christmas! Christmas!  We can hardly wait.

 2. Do you see the Christmas tree,

the Christmas tree, the Christmas tree?

Do you see the Christmas tree?

It’s Christmas time!

 Chorus:

Christmas! Christmas! Time to celebrate!  XX

Christmas! Christmas!  We can hardly wait.

 3. Do you smell the gingerbread,

The gingerbread, the gingerbread?

Do you smell the gingerbread?

It’s Christmas time!

 Chorus:

Christmas! Christmas! Time to celebrate!  XX

Christmas! Christmas!  We can hardly wait.

 4. We feel joy and happiness,

happiness, happiness,

We feel joy and happiness,

It’s Christmas time!

For the studio version of my song, go to iTunes and click on Track #13 of Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays. (Just click on iTunes above or the album cover below.)

ms kampa 12-8

Happy Teaching, and have a very Merry Christmas!

Kathy Kampa

2

Autumn Leaves Are Here!

%22Autumn Maple Leaves%22 by oana roxana birtea

“Autumn Maples Leaves” courtesy of oano roxana birtea / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here in Tokyo, Japan, the autumn leaves have turned colors. Now beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows fill the sky. Little by little, the leaves tumble to the ground.

My Kindergarten students delight in gathering the fallen leaves. We have a very simple song about the autumn leaves that I’d like to share with you. If you have a xylophone or glockenspiel, you can play it by starting at the shortest bar (C) (do), and going step by step to the longest bar (C).

Autumn Leaves Song One (traditional melody)

Down, down, down, down, the leaves are falling to the ground. 

    do       ti        la       sol             fa              mi        re        do

Whoosh!

My students will sing this song over and over again until you finally bring the song to a close by saying “Last time” and eliminating the “Whoosh!”

If you have colored leaves, let students dance with the leaves in their hands. If you don’t have colored leaves, you can have students make them out of construction paper. They can paint or color them. My students also love to dance with lightweight scarves (available at West Music.com — item # 540053). As students sing, they move their bodies lower and lower, just like the music. When they sing “Whoosh!” they pretend to scoop up the leaves / scarves and start again.

You can make this song a little more complicated by adding the colors of autumn leaves.

Autumn Leaves Song Two

Adapted by K. Kampa

Red, yellow, orange, and brown, the leaves are falling to the ground. 

Whoosh!

Here’s a video to give you some ideas (click on the arrows in the lower right corner of the screen to get a full video image):

1

Celebrate Thanksgiving Day with “The Turkey Dance!”

%22Image courtesy of Tom Curtis : FreeDigitalPhotos.net%22Image courtesy of Tom Curtis / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Autumn is a beautiful season. It’s also the time of the harvest, when farmers gather the food they’ve grown. In many countries, there are harvest festivals or special “Thanksgiving” days during which people give thanks for what they have. In the United States, many people celebrate with their families, and often enjoy a dinner together that includes roast turkey.

This song is a wonderful way to celebrate Thanksgiving Day in your home or school. It’s called The Turkey Dance, and as you can imagine, it gives children a chance to dance like . . . . turkeys!!

Here are the lyrics, which go to the tune of “Turkey in the Straw.”

The Turkey Dance

Words by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina, music adapted from Turkey in the Straw

copyright © 2013 by Kathleen Kampa

Spoken: It’s Thanksgiving Day.  Let’s move like turkeys.

First, Move your elbows!

Move your elbows, do the Turkey dance

Move your elbows, do the Turkey dance

Stamp your feet and shout “Hooray!”

Gobble. Gobble. It’s Thanksgiving Day.

2. Now move your hips. . .

Move your hips, do the Turkey dance

Move your hips, do the Turkey dance

Stamp your feet and shout “Hooray!”

Gobble. Gobble. It’s Thanksgiving Day.

3. Now move your knees. . . .

4. Now move your head . . . .

5. Now move your whole body!

Teacher’s Notes:

In this dance, students are pretending to be turkeys.

1.  Make turkey wings by moving your elbows.

2.  Make a tail by putting your hands behind your back, and moving your hips.

3.  Move your knees like you’re strutting.

4.  Move your head forward and back.

5.  Choose your favorite movements, or make some new ones.  Dance!

Here’s a simple version of Kathy’s song on piano.

For a wonderful “hoedown” professional version that children LOVE to dance to, listen to The Turkey Dance on iTunes!

Have a wonderful day!

Kathy and Chuck

ms kampa 12-8