Thursday, April 8, 2010

Life Soundtrack

So - I have to make my final weeks at school count - memorable - or whatever. I'm not going to coast. Ya hear me?

WE will learn a thing or two.

I regret never being able to go to the Six Traits of Writing workshop - sigh... But this is how we write - or are supposed to write. So - I've done some digging on the internet and thinking. I did find something I liked.... A lesson plan called an "Autobiographical Soundtrack." I think this will be a great way to have kids write - ok ok I'm sure you've heard about this before... yeah I know - but.... What a great way to get them to write a simple essay!!!

First trait - "The Idea" The kids actually get to think about thinks they care about!!

Second Trait - "Organization" I think it's pretty easy to think of three to five songs and write a paragraph about how each song represents their life.

Third Trait - "Word Choice" I can't wait for the kids to take their journals and find ways to perfect their writing to make it more understandable and interesting to their readers.

Fourth Trait - "Sentence Fluency" Woo hoo for fluency - let's write some beautiful sentences for some beautiful music.

Fifth Trait - "Voice" - As "Voice" is really hard to explain - the only way I can explain it is in music - it's like personality! You know? What puts the zip and the Zap.

Sixth Trait - "Conventions" I love that this trait is presented last - because I think students worry about their grammar quite a bit - and yes - it's important - but - that's what editing is for - to go back after all these things and perfect it a little bit more - and maybe with the help of a friend.

Now for ideas - I've been thinking about "Wild World" by Cat Stevens -

I've posted this video before - and I love the song because gowrsh darn it - life is crazy and wild - and especially being young.

I've also been thinking about "Dear Bobbie" by Yellowcard -

For obvious reasons - for one I like that my name is in the title. For two, I love the old man - he sounds so cute. Doesn't he?

J. would play this song in his band - so fun to dance to!

I think I like this version better though....

Can you just imagine me dancing? There's more songs too of course.... It's fun to think about. I figure that if I'd like to write the essay - maybe they would too?


EDK said...

Your post has put my imagination in gear this morning (not an easy task as I'm not a morning person). I followed your link to the lesson plan, but I must say lesson plans are stupifyingly boring reading. Perhaps they are more interesting to teachers??

But your posting was interesting, and the music videos you chose to share are what put my mind to chugging. I had heard neither of the selections before.

"Bobby" is rather bitter-sweet, isn't it? Perhaps it is my age or perhaps it is my daily contact with elderly people, but I picture the elderly guy as speaking to his wife who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

He pleads with her. Do you remember this; do you remember that? And then the really sad, "but surely you remember love?" Through it all life scenes flash on the video (his mind?). There is sooo much caring in the words of that song.

Your other choice is very interesting - not the words so much as the action. To tell the truth, I was so busy watching the action the words didn't penetrate.

It seemed to me the people cavorting in the background were symbolic of all the varied and frenzied life occuring around us and the people at the table representative of those oblivious to life's adventure.

I looked for what I thought was a logical third class of people in this grouping - those who watch, but don't participate.

It wasn't until near the end of the vidwo that I realized perhaps I, watching this thing, was representative of that group.

Something to think about in the shower (that's where I ponder the great mysteries of life!).

Using music as part of the writing process is a really great idea. Kids seem to be super-glued to their music machines and phones these day - perhaps teens always were.

Anyway, music should be an effective way to guide them into the joy of writing.

If you can discover a way to bring their phones into the writing process, too, you will have hit the jackpot!

Don't worry about making the last weeks of the term memorable. I cannot imagine that your students would not find you and your enthusiasm lodged in their minds until Alzheimer's wipes the slate completely clean.

Sorry this is so long - your fault, jogging my mind into gear before noon is a dangerous thing!

Minnesotalady said...

Good sign :)

I'm glad - I wondered about Alzheimer's disease too. This song was written by Yellowcard based upon one of the band member's grandparents' love letters. The band member's grandpa is reading the actual letters out loud.