This was the fourth and last visit to Donegan School and I figured we were just going to have some fun, and not concentrate on songwriting. I was glad, though, that I had a few tricks up my sleeve early on.
I started with Watermelon on the Vine and, when I suggested that watermelons once had seeds, the 5th graders didn’t know what I was talking about. We had a good time slurping along, though. A good ice-breaker.
I followed with The Bear Hunt, one that has been on the back-burner for the past year and a half. It worked well, even for the older kids (now that we know each other). We came up with new situations : Haunted Mansion, Spooky Circus and Rain Forest, each with sounds and motions. Good work.
I broke out the rhythm instruments for the first time and we sang our version of We Gave Names to the Animals, a good mix of singing and playing. I was glad that I waited til today to empty the sack out. I then brought out a bag of puppets and we sang Down By the Bay with the puppets doing the singing, using puppet voices and other good learning devices. The teachers enjoyed that work, as well.
We then cued up my video of Names and I got to watch it along with them and see their reaction. That was interesting. They were singing along to it and enjoying seeing my mentions of Donegan School as well as the pop-up pictures of the animals.
I think the sessions were successful and the 3rd grade teacher (who really earns her money with her group of highly active kids) said that my sessions were the best. That was a nice acknowledgement.
Tomorrow I’ll do a wrap-up with the other teaching artists and I’ll sing the Names song again, get my students up to sing the chorus with me, and then head on out to my CT farmers’ market gig in the afternoon.
Good work in my neighborhood.