Say What?

by Teresa Jennings

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.

Talk about cross curricular! This great little nonsense piece encourages students to read and pronounce all different kinds of words together. It could also be an extension of spelling, memorizing, and enunciating. Some of the combinations of words are tough enough that you might consider them tongue twisters. If your students are having any trouble reading this one, rehearse it without the music first. Clap a slow tempo, let them read along and then speed up slowly as you go. Once they are up to speed, turn the music back on and go!

You may have noticed that we did not add any commas anywhere in the strings of words. This is so that different interpretations can be applied. For example, in the phrase "pick a pepper hog," is "pick a pepper" a phrase by itself? Or is it a "pepper hog" that is getting "picked?" Along those cross curricular lines, students studying sentence structure and modifiers in their regular classrooms might get a kick out of coming up with variable interpretations of the phrases. (Be sure that their classroom teacher knows that you have this great teaching tool to help them learn these things.)

Yet another extension of this song would be to let students come up with their own silly words and phrases. Creative writing - more cross curricular work!

To tie this all together and make it fun - however you use it - we have given this one a bluesy rock 'n' roll background on the recording. Let students clap along as indicated on the music if you're so inclined. For a bit more of a challenge, let them alter the clapping pattern during different parts of the song. Have them determine what they will do ahead of time. Then, if you want them to practice writing rhythms, this would be a good chance to do it.