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".
The Musicmap series of books feature folk songs from around the world. I use folk songs in my instruction all the time and always try to know the historic background for each song. I also make sure I teach the students where the song originated and do quick map studies to help them make the connections between music and geography.
The Musicmap series of books will be the starting point for research by the students to find information about various countries and regions of the world.
Some of the songs will be taught in direct coordination with grade level social studies instruction, others will be taught in music class and serve as the starting point for research during computer classes where research skills are taught. Students will be given a set of questions guiding them to information about the originating country and history. Students will share their research during music class where there will be a focus on map skills which connects with one of our school improvement goals - "Know your place in the world."
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