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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 43- Countdown....4!

Counting today, just 4 more days until Fall break!

It was a musical day today. (I've always thought that life would be better lived if everyone would randomly break into song and choreographed dance.) Well, there was no dancing, but there was singing!

I decided to integrate our social studies topic of Australia and our whole group reading time and we studied some Australian vocabulary! Fun! And of course I need a fun song to engage my students. :)

When I was a kid, I loved listening to childrens songs. On one of my numerous CDs is the song Waltzing Matilda. I never really understood what was going on in the song, but I loved singing it!

As it turns out, Waltzing Matilda is an Australian song that is full of fun Aussie vocabulary! I wrote down the vocabulary from the song on the board and we listened to the song.

After listening to the song, we had a good time trying to come up with what we thought each word means!

 The class decided that Billy is something you eat, since the Swagman was waiting for his Billy to boil. As it turns out, Billy refers to a brand of tea found in Australia! A jumpbuck is a term for a kangaroo. The Swagman was waiting by a billabong (a small lake) waiting for his Billy to boil, and a jumpbuck came along.
The term Swagman refers to a hobo, which is another term that the students didn't know. (a homeless person) You can see from their guesses that they didn't think a Swagman was a very good person. I pointed out that he was a jolly Swagman, but my students didn't  recognize the term jolly. I told them that jolly was a term that we use for Santa Clause, so it is a happy term!

So, now we knew that a happy hobo was waiting for his tea to boil, when a kangaroo came to the lake to drink.

 Well, the Swagman grabbed the jumpbuck and shoved it into his tuckerbag. (that was easy to figure out. It's a bag the swagman carried with him) But, when he did he got caught my the Squatter and the Troopers! A squatter is the person who owned the land the Swagman was on. The Troopers were like police, but before there were police.
As you can see, my students knew that Troopers were important, but they didn't know to what extent.  
The Swagman didn't want to go to jail, but he jumped into the billabong and was never heard from again.

So, here is the story of Waltzing Matilda, using non-Australian vernacular:

Once there was a homeless person who decided to camp near a small lake. While he was waiting for his tea to boil, he spied a kangaroo that had come to the lake to get a drink. He decided to grab the kangaroo and stuff it into his backpack, but when he did he was caught by the owner of the land and the town deputies. Instead of letting himself be caught and taken to jail, the homeless man decided to jump into the lake. He was never seen again.

You're probably wondering the significance of the word Matilda. Well, there were different definitions for this term, but the one that made sense to my class was that a Matilda is a rolled up bedroll (like a sleeping bag) that the Swagman carried with him.

At the beginning of the song, the Swagman invites the listener to go Waltzing Matilda with him- to roll up their bedroll and follow him. (be his friend, I would assume) In the beginning, the Swagman was living a free life, able to go where he chose. By the end of the story, the Squatter and the Troopers told the Swagman to go Waltzing Matilda with them- to bring his things and go with them to jail.

I loved this lesson! My students loved this lesson! Mrs. Hughes, the Literacy Coach, stopped in the room and got hooked! She loved the lesson too! But the fun didn't end there, my friends! There was more music to come!

We are learning about Nouns, which are people, places, things, and animals. What better song to use in this lesson than My Favorite Things? (I told you I loved musicals!)

While searching my teaching blogs, I found where one teacher had used this song to teach plural nouns. Genius! So, I printed out her version of My Favorite Nouns for my students and we went though and found the nouns. (after we listened to the song once or twice first!)

Unfortunately, I can't remember the teacher's blog that shared this idea. If by chance that teacher should stumble across my blog- I'm sorry! Please let me know if this is yours!

We were listening to the song one last time when who should come in your room but.... Mrs. Overton! Her office is right across the hall from our room, and she heard the song at her desk As it turns out, The Sound of Music is her favorite movie and she was drawn in by the lure of Julie Andrews!

 My students were in a state of shock and awe when Mrs. O came in... and began to sing to them!

And me without my camera at my side!!! Good news, Mrs. O agreed to come back tomorrow when we categorize the nouns from the song, and she agreed to video! :)

In other news, here are the literacy center pictures of the day....

We ended the day on a high note!

Our Daily Brain

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