One of the many elements I like about this book is that it combines a story with a song...and the story is one that my young students are going to enjoy! Farmer Joe is off for the Tractor Conference in Reno, and the Punk Farm band (Sheep: lead vocals, Chicken: keyboards, Cow: drums, Pig: guitar, & Goat: bass) is going on their first big tour, complete with issues with their van, the weather, and a rush to get back to the farm before Farmer Joe.
Here are some of my ideas to incorporate this book in music classes:
- Getting the kids on board with this book is going to depend on the delivery of the reader...so don't be afraid to be silly, adopt different "rocker" voices for the animals, and really rock out for the singing parts.
- A challenge is going to be for the students to have fun with the song, but not to be out of control with silliness so that the song stops being musical and just descends into chaos. To help balance their exuberance, I warn them about this in a fun way before beginning the book.
- The song's new lyrics: "The wheels on the van go round and round..., the wipers on the van go swish, swish, swish...., the tires on the van go pop, pop, pop..., the engine in the van goes clank, clank, clank...." The words, along with some pictures, can be enlarged on the board so that the students can easily join in the repetitive lyrics.
- The old standby hand movements can be incorporated into the song, and new inventive movements can be added for the "popping" and "clanking".
- Classroom musical instruments can be used for sound effects for each new verse.
- As incentive for good behavior during the reading of the book, I choose 5 students to be the "band", and perform "air guitar, air drums, and air keyboards" while we review singing the song.
- To simplify for the youngest students, I would present the word/image in pairs on four posterboards to show the order of the song (1. wheels/van 2. wipers/van 3. tires/van 4. engine/van). This will also help them remember the movements. Here are some images you can easily cut and paste to help your students recognize and read the lyrics to the song:
What are some of your ideas for including "Punk Farm on Tour" in music class? Please share!