Creating Beats With Books
Integrating literature with music is an innovative way to liven up the story and keep your preschoolers engaged. Storytelling with instrumental accompaniment brings a whole new level of excitement to reading and aids in listening and comprehension. Rhythm instruments can add sound effects, portray characters or emphasize an important or repetitive phrase in the book.
Here are some examples of books to use with instruments:
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin - This book offers the phrase, "Chicka chicka boom boom, will there be enough room?" Have the students play chick chicka on maracas (shakers) and boom boom on the drums, reinforcing patterning and repetition.
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin - I have used this book in my primary music classes and they have loved it! When you read the phrase, "Click, clack, MOO," half of the students play rhythm sticks on the click, click; and the rest of the class shouts MOO and play the cowbell. (This is a cute story too!)
The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylesworth - For this one, have students chant the repetitive lines while keeping a steady beat on hand drums or bongs/tom toms. Half the class would chant and drum, "Run, Run! Fast you as can! You can't catch me! I'm the Gingerbread Man!" (with the rest of the lines to follow). The other half then will say, "No, No! I won't come back! I'd rather run than be your snack!" This group will use jingle bells with a faster beat to represent him running. This teaches sequencing and keeping a steady beat.
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle and Bill Martin - I have used this book with instruments by changing the words to, "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what do you hear? I hear a jingle bell chiming in my ear." You could do drum booming, maracas shaking, triangle ringing, rhythm stick tapping, etc. This teaches instrument/sound identification and reinforces listening skills.
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina - This is a great book to introduce glockenspiels to represent going up and down using a swooping motion.
Good Night Good Knight by Shelley Moore - This is also a great book to use glockenspiels to teach glissando (going up and down the tower) and woodblocks/tone blocks for galloping. Being more of an adventure book, it allows for sound effect creation and teaches sequencing and repetition. This is more on the advanced side for preschool, but a cute book.
Other books that are great for incorporating instruments to create sound effects are Halloween-related. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams is one of my kids' favorites!