Music and Childrens Literature

"This Is Not My Hat" by John Kessen

This is Not My Hat - - Jon Kassen

Making the Musical Connection

This book is a great way to teach kids about emotions and how people portray them. As you can see when watching the book reading, the look on the big fish's eye changes whenever his mood does. This is such a fun way to get kids learning about feelings and how we can see them in books... and music!
The following are some music clips that have strong emotional connections, and some might be recognized by young students. An activity idea for using these songs is below the links. Let's listen!


The Flight Of The Bumblebee Final by erikpianist


Greensleeves by ryancarnevali


Piano Sonata no.14 mvmt.14 (Moonlight Sonata) (via JiveMind) by mihaig


Bach - Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565 by EMIClassicsUS

Activity Idea

1. Gather up the students in a central location, in a circle.
2. Have them begin to walk around clockwise in a circle. Begin playing Flight of the Bumblebees.
3. Ask students for reaction-- how does this make you feel? What does this make you want to do? What actions or movement would you use to describe this song?
4. Have the students demonstrate their reactions while moving in a circle.
5. Repeat for the other 3 songs.

This activity is a great way to make a kinisthetic connection with emotions and music, which is a common way that young students like to learn. Who doesn't like getting to be up and out of those plastic chairs for a little while?! The kids get to really "get in to" the music and let their imaginations and creativity go to work, which is always rewarding to witness.