By Busy Beavers
Podcast #2 - Dancing Babies
You can watch this as a Podcast on our You Tube Channel.
How are you doing?
Dave here – the creator of Busy Beavers.
Welcome to the first in my new series of Podcasts about getting kids excited about education.
This one is about the innate attraction all humans have towards music and how that can be utilized as a teaching tool.
Have you ever seen a baby or a toddler start dancing when she hears music? It's funny the way children seem to have an instinctual reaction to music. Without any instruction or encouragement often they will just start dancing, clapping and participating along with music when they hear it. Why is that?
I remember going to visit my Uncle Randy and his daughter Mary Jane when she was about 2 years old. I would always bring my guitar and as soon as I got there I'd be asked to perform a mini-concert. When I started playing Mary Jane would sway into the middle of the living room and start boogying. She was just doing what came naturally.
As an English teacher in South Korea I learned two things very quickly:
1. A lot of kids don't like to study English.
2. ALL kids love music.
The problem I faced – How do you get kids to digest the bitter pill of learning something they don't want to?
The Solution – Hide it in something they like – music.
One of the first videos I produced was The House Song. (That's why the animation for that one is so crude – I was just learning). I wanted to deliver the target vocabulary, the rooms in the home, in a fun way.
As a teaching tool that particular video worked wonderfully. The kids had been struggling to learn the words "Bathroom" and "Living Room" for several weeks. Each lesson I would hold up a picture of a bathroom and ask "What's this?" and only 2 or 3 kids out of 10 would say "It's a bathroom". The rest of them, although they had heard the word many times before, could not or would not say it out loud.
But, after only a couple viewings of the video ALL of the kids were singing along. Suddenly the daunting task of remembering and pronouncing those difficult words became instantly achievable when the words were set to music. The kids wanted to participate in the fun and the only way to do that was to learn a new skill. They all quickly did and practiced with pleasure. Mission accomplished.
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By Busy Beavers
July 18th, 2011