Friday, March 2, 2012

Be Happy: Be LuLu

One of the best parts of teaching primary students is their inherent love of song and pattern. They easily pick up simple poems wanting to act them out and continually recite them. Using quick repetitive and memorable excerpts from text and poetry can easily tame an otherwise rambunctious group when one needs to refocus their attention.  Watching their wide eyes turn and smile while chanting and listening to their energetic voices become captivated by a familiar line or song, makes me happy.

This afternoon, before packing up, my students finished listening to LuLu and the Brontosaurus  (the first chaptery book read aloud this year).  Their was much excitement as we finished the last few chapters by Judith Viorst (in which she gives her readers 3 ending choices).  I  had always loved her voice in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day so I was thrilled a few years back when I found this fantastic easy- to-understand read aloud for first grade.

Throughout the story LuLu (a spunky little girl who is determined to get a brontosaurus for a pet) repeats the phrase:
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, wanna get.
A bronto, bronto, bronto, brontosaurus for a pet.

As Lu Lu's character changes and the events in the story unfold, the phrase also changes but just slightly so the students can join in and be LuLu as they participate in the reading if the book.

Today we finished the day with:

I didn't, I didn't, I didn't didn't get.
A bronto, bronto, bronto, brontosaurus for a pet.

We sang it when we read it in the last few chapters, we sang it as we stacked our chairs and we sang it as we walked out the door into the weekend.  Kids were smiling at the ending, at each other and there was a happiness because of the simple words and message Judith so gently taught us through a book.


b said...

Katie :). Beautiful tale of how sticky text can be for readers. You made a memory today and like a paper souvenir shaped like a dinosaur to remind them how much they loved Lulu, you empowered them with words they'll carry forever. And, someday, one of these students will do the same thing with his/her students. Nice slice!

Carol said...

I love Lulu and I love your post. I can just imagine your little ones carrying this song out into the world. What a gift you have given them!

Michelle said...

I adore the cover art! I just switched over to my library account and I put the book on hold! Can't wait to read and share! Thanks for a great book and song!

Karen said...

I love that you give your students the gift of story each and every day. The fact that you celebrated Lulu as a class today by revisiting her is wonderful.

Amy Rudd said...

I love that you are singing with your students. I used to teach first grade and we sang about everything. My favorite is the name on your paper song..."If your name is on your paper kiss your brain! If your name is on your paper kiss your brain! If your name is on your paper you don't have to write it later, if your name is on your paper kiss your brain!" (sung to if you're happy and you know it)...

Unknown said...

I bet that is quite the sight when the kids all start singing. Such a great slice.

Sarah said...

I fell in love with Lulu immediately after reading it. I insisted every first and second grade teacher in my hall read it. We had a blast sharing the fresh humor and voice in it. Then the alternate endings were hilarious!

Jen said...

Experiences like that, ending your day singing together is the beauty of a classroom that only a teacher could understand the bonding and camraderie. Your classroom sounds like an amazing place!