“When the Saints Go Marching In”

I’m excited to announce that I have been selected by the Saints organization to be a “Teacher of the Week”, and I will be featured during the Saints opening game on September 20, 2015. Last Friday, a third grade class experienced a lesson they will never forget when representatives from the Saints organization came to film me teach.

When I heard about the visit, I immediately thought of the story my students enjoy: “One Dat, Two Dat, Are You a Who Dat?” by Cornell P. Landry. I had been inspired to create a music lesson based on this story when Mr. Landry came to speak for our “Cultural Arts Day” two years ago. Using words found in the book, I had created a chant that could be interspersed throughout the story.

I began with using my new ActivPanel to help students visualize that the chant would be divided into three parts and performed with body percussion (pat, clap, and snap). Once this was successful, we added in percussion instruments and performed it with the story. On the last page, the students determined that a crescendo would be necessary as each word on the page got bigger.

While performing, the students also discovered that there is a pattern of “question and answer” throughout the story. I then asked the students to create movements to accompany the words in the first question. I held my breath as I waited to see if the camera would make the students afraid to think creatively. Then, a hand went up with a suggestion. It wasn’t a great idea, but it got the conversation going. Suddenly, the kids were laughing and sharing without any reservation.

In the end, the students created something that they could be proud to show the rest of the world. At the same time, I was grateful for this opportunity to once again show that music, sports, and literature are actually connected. When blended together, the students have the opportunity to shine.

Be sure to check back in September to find out more about my experience being a “Teacher of the Week” for the Saints.