The Penguins and Labs are learning about America. In music, we read and are learning to sing the song “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” with the book illustrated by Todd Ouren. The second time we read the book, I asked the student to point out things they saw in the pictures. Actively listening and looking, students shared they saw a bell, school, church, people, Pilgrims, pumpkins, mountains, and much more. As a group, we labeled everything we saw in each illustrated lyric.
This week, I had students draw what they remembered from the book or what America is to them. Some students looked at the book for inspiration or to copy the image they wanted to draw. There were a few bells and the other pictures were of different images of America: flag, school, church, music, dinosaur, family. I was most impressed with the students who looked at a picture and reproduced it on their paper. One student wanted to draw music notes, so he looked at the music notes hanging on my wall and replicated on his paper.
Through hearing the song with a book visual, pointing out what they notice in the illustrations, and listening to the song while they drew, the Penguins and Labs are passively learning the song, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” A short song with a simple melody, the song is deep with American history, new vocabulary words, and Old English words that makes it difficult to comprehend. When we start learning the song in the next couple of weeks, the students will have a better understanding of what they are singing.