smart moves
March 27, 2014 2:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for songs that involve dancing or related kinds of kinesthetic learning.

I'm still struggling to provide kids with interesting activities to learn more things in the English language. Recently, I've been listening to Ella Jenkins a lot. I'd like to make the kids move, sing, do various fun things while practising simple lines.

I've found this previous question :

and I might use some of the songs mentioned, but I don't necessary look for recent stuff.

Thanks !
posted by nicolin to Education (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I am an elementary music teacher. Many of my students are English Language Learners, and this is something that I run into with my kindergarteners. The gym teacher and I often combine at our school for "movement days" and when we have kinder classes at the same time we do a lot of this kind of stuff.

Ella Jenkins is great!

Simple songs like "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" are good too. I've been using a version by the Wiggles that is fun because the kids have to drop a word each time.

Some of my favorite other children's albums that lend themselves to music:
-- Come And Make a Circle by Susan Salidor (there's a version of Che Che Kule on there that is a LOT of fun, and she walks you through each motion - although the words are in an African language, the directions are in English).
-- anything by Denise Gagne, especially Action Songs Kids Love (you can buy her albums/books here, but they're also all on Spotify. I subscribed to Spotify Premium just to access these materials).
-- Kathy Reid-Naiman, especially Jump Jim Joe. I don't love the song, and it's in a hard key for kids to sing, but it's a nice arrangement and it has fun movements that go with it.
-- Nancy Stewart, who is a singer/songwriter in Seattle. She has TONS of great music on her site and it's all free, which is amazing. Her site is very Web 1.0, but it is updated frequently and all of her songs, including mp3s, lyrics, chords, etc. are free. I really like to use her music for ELL students.
-- There are some cool songs on Dream English too.

This is all I can think of off the top of my head, but I will check back in if I think of anything else. Feel free to email me (see profile) if you have any other questions about music, movement, language, etc. I love to talk shop with other teachers!
posted by rossination at 2:52 PM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I noticed that you're in France (is that correct?). If so, check out Denise Gagne / Musicplay for other resources too, since she's based in Canada and has some materials with songs in French. I'm assuming that your directive is to teach kids English (as opposed to French), but sometimes it's nice to include some stuff in their primary language to get their brains going. :)
posted by rossination at 3:00 PM on March 27, 2014

How old are your students? If you google songs movement you get a lot of songs for kids with movement instructions, but they're generally for quite young children.
posted by Kattullus at 2:54 AM on March 28, 2014

Response by poster: Hi Kari, well, they're somewhere between 10 and 14 years old.
posted by nicolin at 3:50 AM on March 28, 2014

Best answer: Ah, okay, in which case some novelty dance songs might do the trick. I loved those things when I was that age. Not all are going to be appropriate, but most of them are fairly innocent. When I was a kid, I loved to the twist and such dances, and they sounded just as weird twenty years ago as they do now, I imagine.
posted by Kattullus at 4:51 AM on March 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

A lot of Laurie Berkner's songs would work for you.
posted by jbickers at 6:53 AM on March 28, 2014

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