Annie Tsai, a teacher in Taiwan, writes about how music and the Everybody Up Global Sing-along changed the lives of her students last year. This piece originally appeared on Annie’s Corner on 28 January 2012.
This is by far one of the most extraordinary projects I’ve done. There has been a lot of joy and learning along the way with surprising struggles of school politics. Nevertheless, they are all good and they will nurture my future teaching life.
I felt the need to document what has happened over the past few weeks. One is to share how I started this amazing project with my kids, which many teachers might like to look to in hopes of noticing opportunities around them. The second purpose is, I’d like to share what I have learned from the event, about … people and life. Yes, I know it sounds bizarre to connect these with a competition, but surprisingly enough, this competition opens a window of observation.
Global Sing-along Competition
I couldn’t recall where I first learned about the competition nevertheless I remembered my first thought was, ‘Gee, this sounds like fun! How do I get involved?’ The competition, Global Sing-Along, was hosted by Oxford University Press (OUP). They were very clever and considerate to have all necessary teaching materials ready and downloadable online. To enter the contest, teachers are required to record kids singing from titles offered by OUP and upload the video clips to OUP’s YouTube channel. There were five songs to choose from and includes all the teaching materials such as mp3, lyrics and accompanying MTV.
The first song couldn’t be simpler. The lyrics contain only two words, ‘everybody’ and ‘up’. Regardless of how some may see the song as too easy for any elementary level kids, it is a perfect test of how we teachers can expand and extend from a pure base. In daily school life, children climb up the monkey bars, they swing up high and low, they do a lot of rope jumping, they look up skyward to observe things … these child-like activities supply a rich foundation for extensive teaching moments.
I asked my 3rd graders which part of our campus they would like to showcase if they were to introduce our school to children from other parts of the world. They nominated 7 areas and I assigned each class to do an MTV for each spot. The video shooting took only one session and they just loved learning outside of the classroom.