Workshop Title: Songs and Songwriting Across the Curriculum

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1 1 John Farrell Workshop Title: Songs and Songwriting Across the Curriculum The following pages are from John Farrell s Song and Activity Book Songs Across the Curriculum Included here are lyrics and activities from the book. John will be working with this content during the workshop Songs and Songwriting Across the Curriculum Recordings of the songs in the songbook are available on the CD All Around Us.. Additional teaching ideas, suggestions, music, and video are available on John s web site at John at What s So Great About the Great White Shark? Themes: Sharks Oceans Habitats Songwriting Levels: Pre-K through Grade 6 What s So Great About the Great White Shark? Copyright John Farrell, Hope River Music Can you tell me? I d like to know-oh-oh Can you tell me? I d like to know The Great White Shark is the largest predatory fish in the ocean The Great White Shark never stops moving, it s always in motion The Great White Shark can grow to be 6 meters long and weigh more than a ton Nicole, a Great White swam from South Africa to Australia and back again That s over 12,000 miles. That s pretty great! Can you tell me? I d like to know-oh-oh Can you tell me? I d like to know Great White Sharks have been around for hundreds of millions of years Great White Sharks were swimming in the ocean when dinosaurs were still here The Great White Sharks has the strongest jaws of any creature alive One shark can have as many as 3000 teeth, that s more than 40 crocodiles Before Listening: (Notes from John Farrell)

2 2 Many of my songs get started in songwriting residencies with students. Teachers and students tell me what they d like to write about and then I come up with a melody and a song hook. The students then help me develop the feel and energy, and they add ideas for the lyrics. Students from three New York state schools helped me with this one. The schools are Kent Primary School in Carmel, John L. Edwards School in Hudson, and Edmeston Central School in Edmeston. Together, we edit and revise until the song is ready to be recorded. This one was particularly interesting to me because I almost went shark diving when I was in South Africa in I made the reservation with the boat s captain but I had to cancel at the last minute because of limited time. I also had some uncertainties about the means they use to attract the sharks but I really did want to see one up close. They fascinate me. After Listening: Add the following movements to the song; Clap your hands just above your head each time you sing the word Shark in the chorus of the song. The first time you sing I d like to know-oh-oh make a downward motion with both hands as though you are diving into the water and then coming back up. The next time you sing I d like to know quickly point to the side of your head with the index finger of each hand. Have students research the parts of a shark s body and then draw a shark and label these parts. The web site has excellent diagrams of sharks and other animals. Research other types of sharks and their habitats. Develop graphs, charts, or displays comparing and contrasting similarities and differences. Have students count or estimate how many teeth there are in your classroom. How does that compare to the great white shark? Ask students to justify or discredit the statement Sharks are dangerous animals. Have them do research and present their cases. Conduct a survey to find out how others in your school and family feel about sharks. Songwriting and Performance Activities: Have students choose an animal that they are interested in and have them write their own songs using the What s So Great About? hook from What s So Great about the Great White Shark? Have them research their animals write new verses. For the chorus simply change Great White Shark to the new animal. It could be What s so great about the Butterfly? Crocodile? Ladybug or anything you choose. It could be What s so great about the third grade class etc.

3 3 There are instrumental only songwriting tracks for this song on the CD All Around Us. You can write new lyrics and perform your songs using the instrumental only tracks or the piano and guitar accompaniment included in this book. Welcome to the World Baby Dolphin Themes: Dolphins Life Cycles Oceans Habitats Sign Language Songwriting Levels: Pre-K through Grade 6 Welcome to the World Baby Dolphin Copyright John Farrell, Hope River Music Welcome to the world baby dolphin Your family has been waiting for you Your home is here on planet earth In the ocean so blue Welcome to the world baby dolphin May you grow healthy and strong We want you to know we love you so And that s why we wrote you this song Dolphins are mammals just like we are. They are warm blooded and they breathe air. Dolphin mothers give birth to live babies, not eggs, and the mothers produce milk to feed their young. The babies are called calves, and a newborn calf is able to swim and breathe within minutes after being born. Dolphins live and travel in groups called pods. Often the pods are family groups. Dolphins are friendly and social animals. They use clicks, whistles and other sounds to communicate. The average lifespan of a dolphin is 20 to 25 years but some have been known to live 40 years and longer. People sometimes do things that hurt or even kill dolphins. Polluting the ocean and fishing with dangerous nets are examples of things humans have done that are harmful. But people also help. There are organizations, such as the Wildlife Conservation Society, that work to study and protect dolphins. By teaching others what you know, you can help too.

4 4 Before Listening: (Notes from John Farrell) This song also got started in a songwriting residency. My friend Eileen Douglas and her class at Kent Primary School in New York told me that they d like to write about dolphins. I got the idea to make the song be about the birth of a baby dolphin. The ¾ waltz time seemed to suit the feeling of an ocean s waves perfectly. The class loved it right away and we got to work learning about dolphins. The spoken parts of the song incorporate what we learned while writing, revising and singing this song. After Listening: Lorraine Cich, my friend and collaborator on this project, added sign language to the chorus of the song. Her students love to sing and sign the song at the same time. There are several web sites that have sign language dictionaries. The site includes short video clips demonstrating many signs. It isn t necessary to sign each word literally in order for the students to enjoy the movement. They are learning some signs and experiencing the beauty of sign language even if it is not precise. The book The Joy of Signing by Lottie L. Riekehof is also an excellent reference. Have a discussion about the interrelationship of different species and habitats on earth. Make a chart showing how the behavior of humans affects other species in many habitats. Songwriting and Performance Activities: Have students choose an animal that they are interested in and have them write their own songs about the birth of a baby. How are babies born? Live? From eggs? How many are usually born? What are newborns called? Etc. Have them research their animals write new verses. For the chorus simply change Baby Dolphin to the new animal. They can also write about a newborn sister or brother. There are instrumental only songwriting tracks for the song Welcome to the World Baby Dolphin on the CD All Around Us. You can write new lyrics and perform your songs using the instrumental only tracks, or use the piano and guitar accompaniment included in this book.

5 5 There s a Bear Over There Copyright John Farrell, Hope River Music Themes: Bears Endangered Species Habitats Levels: Pre-K through Grade 6 There s a bear (Echo) Over there (Echo) And I think he s looking at me He is big (Echo) He is brown (Echo) He is a GRIZZLY He runs fast He has claws He scratches the bark on the trees He lives in the forest He eats fish and berries I like the GRIZZLY bear Grizzly Bear Oh Grizzly Bear running and playing just like me Grizzly Bear Oh Grizzly Bear I like the Grizzly Bear There s a bear Over there The color of Grandpa s hair She is big She is white She is a POLAR BEAR She can swim She eats meat She is a CARNIVORE She s got lots of blubber She lives in the ARCTIC I like the Polar Bear Polar Bear, Oh Polar Bear, Polar Bear, Oh Polar Bear, swimming and playing just like me I like the Polar Bear There s a bear In his lair Snorting and snoring back there He s as dark As the night He is a BLACK BEAR He eats plants He eats meat He is an OMNIVORE He s frightened of grizzlies He can sleep through the winter I like the BLACK BEAR Black Bear, OH Black Bear snoring and playing just like me Black Bear, OH Black Bear I like the Black Bear There s a bear Over there Her name rhymes with Amanda She is black And she s white She is a GIANT PANDA She climbs trees, Eats bamboo She lives in the forests of China She is endangered She needs our help I like the PANDA BEAR Panda Bear, Oh Panda Bear climbing and playing just like me Panda Bear, Oh Panda Bear I like the Panda Bear

6 6 Before Listening: (Notes from John Farrell) For several years now I have worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York City doing educational performances for families at the Bronx Zoo. While performing at the zoo during the summer of 2006 I had a really fun experience when the bears at the grizzly bear exhibit came out while I was singing the song Habitat, written by Bill Oliver. This song is an audience favorite. It includes a verse about the forest which mentions bears. As I was singing Habitat, the bears coincidentally appeared behind the audience two days in a row. When it happened the second day it spontaneously led to the first verse of this song which is, There s a bear over there and I think he s looking at me. From that beginning the song grew and changed as I worked with audiences and expanded the song to be about several different bear species. Students favorite line of all comes near the end of the song and has nothing to do with bears except that the word underwear does rhyme with bear. After Listening Activities: Compare and contrast different bears in size, habitat, foods, life cycles, etc. Have a teddy bear picnic with graham crackers and honey. Read bear stories aloud. Have students perform the song acting out the behaviors described. Find out where each bear species can be found. The Polar Bear is in the Arctic. The Giant Panda is in China. Where can you find the others? Have each student choose which kind of bear he/she likes best and explain why. Do drawings or paintings that show the bears acting out the lyrics of the song. Make a rhyming chart and come up with as many rhymes as possible for the following words; Bear Zoo Big Fast Trees Fish Brown Black White Claws Tall Meat Sleep Run Bark Blubber Bamboo Sun From the list of rhyming words make up a new song.

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