If your classes need a pick-me-up before the school year ends, consider patriotic karaoke for some rousing fun with educational value.
Our school PTO was small but enthusiastic. Every year they asked each teacher what they could provide that would help in our education of their children. The first thing I asked for was a helper who would listen to certain children read and encourage them. They sent me Liz, and, if I never received another thing from them, she was more than worth it. I explained her help in my classes in this previous post:
The last thing I asked for was a karaoke machine. I had no idea I would be retiring before I could use it, but I’m sure that another teacher put it to good use. For years I, who absolutely cannot carry a tune, led my classes in a cappella singing these songs to honor our fallen heroes for Memorial Day. I embarrassed myself for two good reasons:
- It appeared to me that the children did not really know and honor the purpose of Memorial Day. They viewed it as a holiday for a first summer cookout of hot dogs, hamburgers, and barbecue, and also as an entertaining prelude to summer vacation.
- I have always felt that most beginning and remedial readers need extra experience in fluency. What better than the natural rhythm of poems and songs?
I detailed the fluency value of holiday songs in my first ever Blog Post:
Melodies really help with fluency, and the students can ingrain the ideas of the flow of words much more easily with song. I never actually needed a karaoke machine. I simply gave each student a copy of the lyrics, and we sang the songs. Embarrassed, yes, at my poor singing voice, but high-minded, nevertheless. We repeated the songs three times.
Some of the music seemed vaguely familiar to the students, and many were enthusiastic because they had relatives in the service, and they always wanted to tell the class about them. Before singing the theme song of each branch, I allowed the students to tell me about their armed service relatives.
Had I been able, I would have played this video and used this music from You Tube:
Armed Forces Melody
Printed similar lyrics are available here, although they are not exact word choice, nor in the same order as the video.
For additional patriotic inspiration, take a peek at my first iMovie, a 1 one-minute representation of the lyrics of America the Beautiful by my second graders.
America The Beautiful
With a special salute this Memorial Day to all our fallen heroes!
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