Songs For January And Februaryby Teresa Jennings, Paul Jennings, and Wendy Osteyée-Christensen
The first two months of the year may seem dreary to some, but we know that there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate with music and cross-curricular activities. From the pages of Music K-8 magazine, here are nine songs to help you get the new year off to a great start:
- George Washington - Many teachers have told us that this fun song is one of their favorites. Ideal for sharing with your classroom cohorts, this cross-curricular gem has fun speculating about whether our founding father really did cut down that cherry tree. Plus, the orchestration for this jaunty march is right on the money.
- Abraham - This gentle and easygoing song with a light rock/pop feel is perfect for a cross-curricular project on Abraham Lincoln. The tune is unison throughout so it doesn't distract from the message.
- Valentine Vendor - This parody of the old Latin jazz classic "The Peanut Vendor" is purely for fun. Instead of trying to sell peanuts, the singers are working with valentines! The possibilities for staging this song with that theme in mind are pretty cute, and it's sure to be a hit at any February performance.
- Follow The Drinking Gourd - Perfect for use in a unit on the Underground Railroad, this much requested "code song" also has a number of classroom resources available to support the learning experience.
- One Zero Zero - Here's a very simple rock tune to celebrate the 100th day of school. We like to think of it as a kind of cheer for the occasion. It's nice and repetitive, though the rhyming lyrics will keep everyone interested and engaged.
- Talkin' About My Friend - This fun, upbeat song is one of the most popular among students. The recorded accompaniment is full of great contemporary guitar and synthesizer sounds, and the high energy will get your kids moving. It's sure to be a hit!
- Free At Last - Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I Have A Dream" speech, Teresa Jennings has created a powerful, thought-provoking song that has touched all who have heard and performed it. It begins gently and builds to a gospel-style chorus that virtually demands that one sing and move along.
- Chinese New Year - This song enables children to experience various activities associated with this holiday, no matter where they live or what their family background is. Pull out your temple blocks (or claves), your gong (or a finger cymbal), and any type of shakers for a great cross-cultural experience.
- There Was An Old Groundhog - Designed for your youngest singers, this short tune in a rollicking swing style is very simple and easy to learn. It's a lighthearted salute to old Punxsutawney Phil. But this little guy doesn't care one way or the other whether his shadow is there. He just wants to sing and dance!
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