My kindergarten to fifth grade students are the most wonderful kids in the world! Really! They are a very diverse population: African-American, Arabic, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Native American...at least 20 languages or dialects are represented. We are a true melting pot population which is approximately 1,100 strong.
We are a Title I school with at least 90% of our students qualifying for free or reduced rate breakfast and lunch programs.
Many of our families are lead by a single parent, a grandparent or a recent immigrant who work at low-wage jobs and, frequently, multiple jobs just to "put food on the table".
For a very long time I have used children's picture books to enhance my music instruction. Recently I did a project that purchased a music curriculum that bases certain lessons on picture books - one of the multitude of reasons I made the purchase. Each grade level has four or five supporting books. Songs like Jenny Jenkins, There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea, and Over in the Meadow have beautifully illustrated book versions. Books like Swimmy, One Hundred Angry Ants, and Eric Carle's Opposites have words that lead to creating musical experiences. I have a limited budget so purchasing these additional books was put "on the back burner". I could use our school library's collection but I cannot guarantee a book will be available when I need it. It also seems to happen that whenever I use a book in class the students rush to the library to check it out... they can't if I still have the book.
I want to use children's picture books to enhance my music instruction but to also encourage my students to read.
It is not at all unusual to find students "sing reading" a book after learning a song or doing a musical activity based on the book. Help me create excitement for not only music but reading as well.
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