Who's Hootin'?

by Teresa & Paul Jennings

You've heard of things that go bump in the night, but what about things that hoot? What – or who – could possibly be making those sounds? Oh, what a mystery.

Your kids will have fun pretending to be owls that call and respond in this light swing homage to our little nighttime friends. If you've ever actually heard owls talking to each other, you know how neat their conversation is. Plus, it has a quality of slightly spooky wonderment that invites a tune like this to speculate through inquiry.

The song is in unison except for the call and response section, which is quite simple by design, allowing even younger students to hoot along. Speaking of which, you will note that kids have the opportunity to hoot using the word "Whoooo?" several times. Try to get them to do as the kids on the recording did, which is indicated on the music: Start with a medium pitch, then do a low one, then a high one. It's more lighthearted and interesting this way, and keeps them concentrating on actual musical details, despite the song's simplicity. At the end of the song, if your fine feathered fledglings are feelin' it, they can do a little extra hooting, ad lib, instead of stopping with the last note.

Arts and Crafts Extra! - As a special extension for this tune, consider letting your students make their own owls to sing, er... hoot along with. Artist Kristyn Johnson has created a template and instructions for making an easy, but pretty impressive lunch bag and construction paper owl. Little hands are called upon for modeling the wings, which adds to the personal touch. (For information on downloading this free craft activity, see the box on page 68.)

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.