I traveled to New York City a few months ago and was given a
children’s book by Billy Joel called, “New York State of Mind.” Yes,
it’s the lyrics to his famous song, illustrated with city scenes and two
cute dogs that meet in New York. I didn’t think much about it at the
time but when I got to my classroom, I decided to put the CD in and show
it to my students. They immediately fell in love with the song! Day
after day they would beg for that book.
I gave them their own copy of the lyrics, from the internet, and then
began looking for other music that might engage their minds and hearts
like that song had. Friends helped me come up with lists of songs with
the same rich sound and interesting lyrics. Before long my students each
had a 3-ring notebook filled with song lyrics; not just children’s
songs, but real songs with rich music, challenging words, and content
they could sink their teeth into!
For more on this strategy and a list of songs to start with, visit me at Top Teaching on Scholastic.com by clicking on this link! Using Music to Improve Reading Fluency
More ideas on using music can be found on my newest Scholastic post at Using Music to Improve Reading: Close Up and Fluent! Visit me there!