The Desk

The Desk
So many projects . . . so little time!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Not 2.0 but a great experience

When I began to plan what the library experience would be for my students this year so many (actually too many) ideas raced through my mind. I had signed up to be part of a district committee that was concerned with improving what we did with the arts in our schools. We had one meeting at the end of last year and will meet again soon. I really wanted to find a way to bring the arts into the library in a concrete manner.
So I decided that once a month I would introduce the students (through a mini lesson) to a famous artist, composer, musician, or performer. This past week was my first venture into this project. My choice to start.... Beethoven! And what serendipity that he made the news a couple of days into the week (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/discoveries/2007-08-28-beethoven-doctor-death_N.htm?csp=34 ).
I see all grade levels during the week from K to 5th and tailoring a lesson to appeal to that broad of an age group is not something I try too often. But I had committed to this project so I forged ahead. I started out by asking if they knew who Beethoven was. It was not surprising to get the following answer from almost every class, "Beethoven's a big slobbery dog." I shared some brief facts about Beethoven and then I played Beethoven's 5th Symphony and asked them if they recognized it. Most of them had heard it before (it's in Disney's Fantasia). We talked about how he could write music for so many different instruments. And then I played Moonlight Sonata (my favorite). I told them that I thought it was a very sad piece of music.
I finished up with the very funny "Beethoven's Wig" by Richard Perlmutter. If you have never heard or seen this book/cd, I highly recommend it. I ended the lesson by asking them what they thought of when I said Beethoven now and no one said a slobbery dog!
The best review of the week I got was an email from the mother of one of my third graders. "Yesterday Kent got home from school and could not stop talking about the music he heard in the library. Could you please let me know what you were playing so I can try to find it for him?"


Next month...Georgia O'Keefe!

1 comment:

Misc_wms said...

I love the comment from the mom about her child's interest in Beethoven.... isn't it amazing what kinds of things we do that just stick with kids? Your lessons on Beethoven sound like a lot of fun.
Connie