As the new school year begins, we want to create the kind of atmosphere in which our students feel safe and cared for, and we want to create a renewed sense of community with our class. Music can be a great vehicle for doing that in the classroom and for the school.
Our Don’t Laugh at Me curriculum uses music to set the context for each of our themes and lessons. Each song introduces a concept, sets a mood, and engages students in a conversation which will be drawn out through the next several lessons.
We’re drawing your attention to the two songs in our two lead lessons in Themes I and II of our curriculum: “Don’t Laugh at Me” and “This Little Light of Mine.” They each work beautifully as a back-to-school activity.
Music Speaks Louder Than Words
Begin with Don’t Laugh at Me to elicit a conversation around “How do we want to be with each other in our class this year?” Another way to think about it is, “How do we want to feel in our class this year?” After you play the song, you can do a go-round or take responses to the question, “What do you feel when you listen to the song? What do you think about when you hear the song?” This gets the conversation going and then you can follow up with the other questions we’re suggesting.
Using This Little Light of Mine, you might want to consider this approach taken from our lesson plan: Create pairs of students and ask: “Who in your life helps your little light to shine? What do they do that helps your light shine?” Share responses.
How can the light we have in each of us build friendship? Let’s name the light that we might have in each of us and chart them.
If you are using our curriculum you can then go back to the lessons in sequence and over time and you’ll be on your way to a great year.
As always, we encourage you to share your successes with us and we’ll be happy to post them with photos if you have parent releases for your students. You may comment on this post, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Facebook or Twitter.