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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

My Favorite Song for Early Childhood

There are so many songs that are so much fun to sing with preschool and Kindergarten but my favorite by far is Miss Julie Ann Johnson. It's just a fun song to sing and because the students get to add their ideas we can sing it over and over again and it never gets old! Here's how I do it (my version is a little different than the ones I see commonly online) and how I use it to reinforce important skills in my early childhood classes.

I've tried over the years to explain my version of the song in writing but it's much easier for me to just demonstrate! Here's a demonstration of the song as I learned it and teach it to my students:

I love pulling this out at the end of the year with my younger students because it is a fun and easy way to get them singing, everyone can get a turn to share an idea (always a winning strategy with early childhood ages), and we can repeat the song every lesson for the last few weeks and it never gets old! 

Besides just being a great way to have fun singing together though, I use it to practice various expressive elements, proper singing voice, and proper singing posture. When I first start teaching the song I have students just sing "oh" after each line so they can hear me sing the words, and I tell them I am looking for people using their best singing voices to decide the next part of the story. I also love bringing the song back at the beginning of 1st grade to reinforce proper singing posture, both singing and standing, by telling students I am looking for the students demonstrating appropriate posture to choose the next verse. 

Once they know it well and can sing the whole thing with me, I'll throw in some expressive elements by asking students to choose a volume level, speed, or emotion to match whatever words the student came up with. I usually look for opportunities when students choose an idea that lends itself to that (for example I've had students suggest "she's never coming back" for the last verse, or say she's going to swim to another country that's far away, etc, which is the perfect time to get students to think about what sort of feeling or message they can convey with their singing). 

I hope you'll try this one out with your younger students- it is definitely one of our favorites and a great one to start or end the school year especially! 

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