Like most people, I think I sound weird when listening to or watching myself. But maybe it won’t sound weird to you. The latest, seriously overdue, edition of ukulele in storytime features “5 Green and Speckled Frogs” which is, in my world, a storytime staple. So get out your ukes, friends, and learn the D chord with me if you don’t already know it!
Alas, I have no Flannel Friday post today. Just haven’t made any new flannels lately, and we’ve been busy ’round these parts with lots of (good) changes. I have several storytime plans I need to write up for y’all, and will get to those ASAP.
However, in the meantime, I give you….
Cat. Napping on Ukulele.
Hi! Welcome to another installment of
watch Mary make a fool of herself ukulele in storytime! Today we’re learning “Sleeping Bunnies,” a song I first heard on Kathy Reid-Naiman’s cd “Tickles and Tunes.” It’s super easy to play on uke, and SUPER fun for the kids! When they start hopping, the storytime rug becomes a preschool mosh pit!
Hi all! Because I love you, I decided to
make a fool of myself share what I’ve learned about playing ukulele in storytime in a series of videos. I know lots of folks who are seasoned uke-ists (not a word) and some who are new to the instrument. I’m somewhere in between, and I hope this will help those newbies gain some confidence in their skills and ROCK OUT in storytime – the kids love it and we all know how important singing is to early literacy skills development!
Here’s the first installment: BINGO! Kids, librarians and teachers alike all know and love this song, and it’s pretty easy to play on the ukulele. In the video I’ll share the chord fingering**, demonstrate playing the song, and show you my fun flannelboard. I learned which chords to use at this awesome site.
Please excuse the poor lighting and the video quality. I’m no videographer – remember, I did this because I LOVE YOU and want your storytime to be the best it can be!
**What I call an A major chord in the video is actually an A MINOR. Whoops!
Bingo was his name-o.
Look for Flip Flap Jack (Aiken Drum) next – the chords I found on the site above were strange, so I figured out my own!
Hickory, dickory, dock. The mouse ran up the clock. The clocks struck one, the mouse ran down. Hickory, dickory, dock!
I’m sure you’re all familiar with this nursery rhyme. But how many KIDS are? Nursery rhymes are not as commonly recited as they once were, but they can be an important tool for learning early literacy skills so it’s fun to break them out in storytime every now and then!
I found the ukulele chords for this one, so I decided I had to use it and we could all sing along. The clock was created in MS Word shape drawing, and the mouse is clipart. He’s perfect, though, don’t you think? The clock hands are held on with a pin so that they’re moveable; I cut an eraser off a pencil to stick on back.
My greatest achievement was making the mouse moveable up the clock. He’s got part of a hanging file folder tab (those plastic thingees you stick a piece of paper in to label your files) attached to his back. It allows him to clip on the side of the clock and you can slide him up and down by holding the tab.
It worked really well. I had the teachers move the clock hands and mouse as I played and we all enjoyed it! The rhyme I used had something for (almost) every hour:
Clock struck 2…away he flew.
3…and he did flee.
4…he hit the door.
5…he took a dive.
6…that mouse, he split [yes, I KNOW it doesn’t rhyme!].
As 12 bells rang, the mousie sprang.
Today’s roundup will be hosted by the lovely and talented Anne at So Tomorrow. As always, if you want to see ALL the flannelboards of months (years, even!) past, click the icon to the right. DON’T FORGET to answer Anne’s survey about where you are – we want to know where all our peeps are at!
It all started when I found this song while hunting for flannelboard resources. I knew RIGHT AWAY I wanted to make it into a flannelboard!:
If you should meet an elephant on a summer’s day
What would you do? What would you say?
I’d say “Good Morning Elephant, how do you do?”
I’m glad to meet you elephant, I’d like to dance with you.”
The song continues with different animals for each of the 4 seasons. So I created this (not the same animals as on the original song, but I don’t think the kind of animal is that important):
The patterns of the animals came from OpenClipArt. I then created these backgrounds for the seasons (which I freehanded and am EXTREMELY proud of) with some iconic images to help the kids figure out which season it is if they can’t yet read the words:
Put them together, and you have this!:
DTLK has also included SHEET MUSIC, which means I can probably learn this for the ukulele. Also there are activities and craft suggestions! This flannel would be great for an animals or seasons storytime, obviously. Or a music storytime?
Visit Tracey’s blog later today for the full Flannel Friday compilation, and click on the FF icon to the right to go to our Pinterest page, where you can see a visual organization of all the flannels from this week and past weeks! Follow the hashtag #flannelfriday on twitter so catch all the flannelly goodness (although twitter can be occasionally wonky, so be sure to check the compilation to make sure you’ve seen them all).
Tomorrow I make my storytime debut with a new trick up my sleeve: I am learning to play the ukulele. I’ve always been musical; I grew up taking piano lessons, voice lessons, and a brief stint with a guitar. My skills were never that great, but I can still read music and I sing with a local choir. I bought my ukulele about a year-and-a-half ago but never managed to get my act together and start learning it. A month or so ago, though, I saw Jake Shimabukuro in concert and was inspired. I MUST try this, I thought! And so, with the help of youtube, a book from the library, and this handy storytime song website that lists guitar chords I have achieved:
- 5 chords: C, G, G7, F, and Am
- 4 storytime songs I can play reasonably well without too long a pause between chord changes: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”, “Itsy Bitsy Spider” (I can really rock out on this one), “Twinkle, Twinkle”, and “BINGO”.
- Some decent callouses on 3 fingers so that chords are not horribly painful anymore.
I think it’s time to try this out on the kids. We’re going to do an all-singing (but not all-dancing) storytime, with Pete the Cat, Ain’t Gonna Paint No More, Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Down By the Station, among others. I’ll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile, check out Jake doing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” below.
P.S. Yes, ukuleleist is a word. I checked.
UPDATE: And…just like that, my debut is quashed. Went to practice, and the uke broke. Darn. New one on order. Don’t worry – it wasn’t very expensive. I’m not going to REALLY invest until I stick with this a bit.