My students need 9 well-written and beautifully-illustrated books such as "Bringing the Rain To Kapiti Plain" as a basis for musical performance pieces.
I hear, and I forget; I see, and I remember, I do, and I understand. My students thrive when they use the five senses, and in my music classes, I try to use as many as possible. This is especially important because of the student demographic; 99% of my students are Native American, and many live in poverty. Often they are not exposed to learning experiences that other more fortunate students take for granted. I teach a wide range of ages, Kindergarten through High School, yet I've found that many games and activities are universal and appreciated by all ages.
Books are a special treat in my school, as most students don't own any of their own. A trip to the library is like Christmas. A book sale is akin to a cave filled with treasure. Exposure to books is necessary and students should have the opportunity to read, hold, care for, and be inspired by books as much as possible. My music classroom is lacking in books! Picture books are an amazing resource, and can be the basis for student-created songs, short plays, poetry, artwork, etc.
With the addition few picture books, my students would not only be exposed to reading, but they would be able to use their imaginations to create something entirely new. Perhaps a dramatic work, theme songs for characters, or maybe a rhythmic ostinato to be played while the story is read? All of these ideas have sprung from the use of picture books in the music classroom. Not only does this open new doors of creativity in music, it also promotes cross-curricular learning.
Your help will allow my students to enjoy books in a new way. Not only will they read them and handle them carefully, but the students will be able to use the best classroom instruments of all; their imaginations.
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