At recess, Auxilium Carona, began buzzing with anticipation when they saw a guitar case being carried into the school.
“Teacher, what is that?” “Teacher, violin? Teacher?” were the questions they kept asking. All I replied was that they would have to wait and see.
As per our theme based weekly plan, this week is “Poetry and Rhythmic Language Week”. Therefore I chose to do I Know an Old Lady in the Std. 1 class.
We organised the game in a way that the children pick a chit with the name of an animal as they walked in. Some of them were spiders, cows, goats, horses and even flies! When I pointed to the animal names from their chits that I had written on the board they stood up, proudly. And tso our game continued. Point to “fly” the “flies” stood, point to “cow” the “cows” stood. They also laughed when I asked them to compare the sizes of the animals and thought I was silly asking them the sizes of these animals. Little did they know…
The revealing of the book cover saw the first signs of distress in the class, when they saw the old lady running after the animals. The animals, whom the children had just played with and become one with, were being chased.. by an old lady .. “Teacher! She has a fork and spoon!” “Teacher, she wants to eat them!”
“Let’s find out…” I said and I opened the book to the last page to show them how special today’s book was.
I told them that it is a story which is a song. Today we’ll be singing our story. Excitement was in the air. They were happy to find the words pasted in their activity books and we began to sing together. Isa played the guitar and Flavia sang from where she was in the class and I held the book and the children followed in their books.
They followed for the first two animals and after that, they sat with eyes wide open in surprise as the old woman got bigger and swallowed more animals! It was a good prediction moment when they realised she would swallow all the animals they had in their little song sheet. However, I deliberately left a blank so they wouldn’t know she died, of course! 😉
As we sang together soon they got into the rhythm of she swallowed the bird to catch the spider. She swallowed the spider to catch the fly. But no one knew what would happen to the old woman.
When we concluded, there was silence for a second. And theyn some laughed, some were still stunned and some were unsure of what to do. I revelled in their confused faces. It was nice to see their mixed feelings. So when I asked them whether they liked the story, I was even happier to receive a no! One little boy didn’t have to explain- the grip on his bench and the look on his face said it all.
“Te soglem khalem ani te melem!”(She ate them all and she only died!)
I know an old lady who said to me the night before, “They’ll like it I know”. And thus our first rhythmic LiS session came to an end to be lifted again in song.