Teachers select songs carefully choosing songs with repetitive words and phrases and predictable actions. We re-write asongs to increase repetition, simplify language, or add parts. We provide practice using all communication modes including speech, gestures and use of AAC/AT. We also emphasize actions and add fun sound effects to ensure children remain engaged in the teacher led activity as they learn parts and sequence.
Children often naturally move their body to rhythm of a song, which makes it easier to encourage actions. Because you can sing songs over & over, children have better opportunity to learn the words. Repetition of songs means children using AT will have many chances to practice operational skills like activating switches or retrieving messages. Once they learn their part children have opportunity to practice timing their responses in context that is fun and silly rather than high pressure.
The song ‘5 Fat Turkeys’ is a holiday favorite. Children have fun with the actions and sounds acting the parts of the turkeys. Teachers appreciate the multiple opportunities to count 1-5, the additional chances to use art products children make in centers and that children can be very active in their walkers.
Adopted by the California Department of Education, Learning standards or foundations describe optimal growth, development, and learning for all children and define strategies for achieving each goal, such as excellent teaching practices and well-designed educational environments. From the California Department of Education Preschool Learning Foundations
DRDP-Access is used to monitor student outcomes and informs curriculum development. As we rate the various measures or learning progressions, we can document the tools and supports being used to achieve progress. From the Desired Results Developmental Profile Access (DRDP-Access).
Indicator: Children demonstrate emerging literacy skills.
Measure 34: Interest in Literacy
Child shows interest in books, songs, rhymes, stories, writing and other literacy activities and seeks information in written text.
5 fat turkeys 5 fat turkeys (Hold out hand to show 5 fingers)
in the barn, in the barn (Cover 1 hand with the other)
gobble gobble gobble (wiggle hands under chin)
wobble wobble wobble (extend harms out to side, move torso side to side)
run away, run away (put arms behind back)
then repeat w/ 4, 3, 2, 1
No more turkeys!, bye!
The instructional routine for Music Time is:
During the preview, the teacher shows a gesture or action that goes along with the song, emphasizing key vocabulary or specific role.
After viewing this preview movie clip, the teacher says: “We’re going to learn this Thanksgiving song and pretend we are turkeys, we need 5 turkeys” (extend hand out and count pointing to 1-2-3-4-5 fingers). Teacher notices and points to children’s pictures: “Look a pink turkey, a purple turkey…, Let’s count 1 2 3 4 5 turkeys”. These 5 Children stay in center of circle.
Students may try out different roles, different tools or props, and have opportunities to practice the same gestures over and over. Music time is ideal for teaching gestures. As we know, our students’ gestures may look very different from a typically developing students’, but because all partners have the shared knowledge of the song during Music, the adults know how to interpret a young child’s gesture and help shape it into a functional communicative mode over time; and with multiple opportunities for practice.
Music is designed to extend over several days. Below is a sample pace of the music over three days:
Watch preview movie clip. Introduce song by talking through script, show and repeat actions. Watch for preferences; note which child likes to count, who likes sound effect, who likes to tease by stopping instead of running away.
Cue children to take turns. Children begin to anticipate and initiate actions. They enjoy running away and often begin to come back into the circle which can be chaotic but really fun for preschoolers! Children often request this song like this at Outside Time as a game. Children may want to count along with SGDs. Children also like picking teachers to be turkeys or counting down with 10 turkeys.
Repeat previous days script and reduce cues. Children may enjoy showing parents this song as part of a harvest celebration.
Once a goal is defined, the activities in which it is addressed and measured are identified. Below is an example.
Student will use aided communication systems to participate in 3 structured classroom activities and loosely structured social interactions. Given AT for communication, mobility and access to materials, as measured by classroom staff-collected data.
These measurements are tied to the specific IEP goal and track the number of activities over reporting period. May note level of support in comments.
Used Supertalker™ in dramatic play/centers to ask Q and greet partners, and step by step (attached to walker) in to narrate play with doctor tools. Used Supertalker™ in music to tell parts (recorded by brother) with gestures. Used gestures in morning circle. Used gestures to make choices in snack.
Uses Supertalker™, Step by Step in dramatic play/centers to initiate interactions w/ partners, narrate and share what he is doing, brought notes from home to share what he knows about camping and able to practice referring to low tech book. Used Supertalker™ in music with 1 repeated part, learned and used gestures quickly in this context! Able to anticipate his turn and practiced songs and parts at home with family! Used Step by step in snack to share news after eating some bites.
Used Supertalker™, step by step, low tech book in dramatic play/centers, Supertalker™ and gestures in music, Step by step in snack to share home news, beginning to use Supertalker™ to greet/ask teacher question and step by step to count peers in morning circle for attendance chart.
Record Gobble Gobble sound. Children can choose from recording of real turkey sound or words “Gobble Gobble Gobble”. Children often take home SGD for sibling, friend or parent to record their part.
Recording of turkey sound for SGD. You can find a free download at Soundbible.
Children can use pages used in other activities, for example Tobii S32 and DynaVox V/Max displays used in morning circle routine. Children can utilize these pages, which link to numbers pages to count during music time. We sing each song for several days so think about spending instructional time practicing and using modes like gestures (used across many songs); rather than teaching song specific displays that will only be used for a few days.
Amory, H. The Usborne First Thousand Words (Revised Ed.). Tulsa: Educational Development Corporation.http://www.edcpub.com
Bunce, B.H. (2008). Early Literacy in Action: The Language Focused Curriculum for Preschool. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Pub. Co. http://www.brookespublishing.com/store/books/bunce-69223/index.htm
LittleStoryBug (uploaded 2009) 5 Fat Turkeys http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VaFvR7n3G4
Sound for turkeys (recording of turkey): http://soundbible.com/1315-Turkey-Gobble.html