Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Building Confidence

My sixth grade students had to write song lyrics as a final assessment for our unit on figurative language. Currently, I am hosting an informal Poetry Slam in my classroom where the students are able to perform their two favorite poems and their song lyrics. I'm still telling them that they have to perform it. If they see my fender guitar in the front of the classroom tomorrow, they are going to have to sing and I will magically know how to perform all of their songs to accompany them. Some of them seriously believe this. I don't know what this is an indication of, but hey. . . they're kids.

So in order to help prepare them for what I am looking for in their performance of their lyrics, I wanted to show them Rocket Man, as performed by Shatner. Problem number one is that he's smoking. While not a major issue, I'd rather protect my butt that hang it out the window. Problem number two is the "high" part. I battled with my inner demons on this one. I wanted so badly to show it. I tried to rationalize it and then finally backed down. I had to be more responsible as a teacher and this was a bit. . . on the wayward side.

Devistation sunk in. How would I ever allow them to experience the awesomeness of Shatner's musical performances? I started searching and I found this:

Now... many of my kids are Star Wars fans and a few are Star Trek fans. The added bonus is that Shatner does a Hupy & Abraham: Attorneys at Law commercial here in Wisconsin, so several of my kids know him from there. They also recognized him from the Priceline commercials. BRILLIANT! Not surprisingly, they did not recognize all the Star Wars people in the audience.

What I did was had them watch/listen to Sinatra singing the song "My Way." I asked them to explain how the song was performed and what they would have to do for their performance. Then I told them that this is an example of what they can do for their song if they do not have to sing it. So I showed the above video. We talked about what they could do for that and how it is still a "song."

Bottom line is, I tossed some geek at my kids. It was awesome!

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