Jedi Music

A Resource for the Beginning Elementary Music Teacher


Children's Literature for Music Ed: "Thank You, Thanksgiving"

When we encourage our young students to sing, a pattern often introduced first is the sol-mi pattern, soon to be followed by the sol-sol-mi-la-sol-mi pattern. "Thank You, Thanksgiving" by David Milgrim is a great book to reinforce singing in these important patterns that form a strong foundation for our young singers.

This is a simple story of a young girl sent out on an important errand on Thanksgiving Day. The family has just finished their dinner, and the young daughter is sent off on a job. As she travels along, she sees many elements  that she is thankful for and she says a simple thank-you to each of them, from the clouds, to her warm boots, to animals she sees on her journey, and including the store where she buys a forgotten item for Thanksgiving desert.  When she returns home after her journey, what is her family grateful for? They are thankful that she went out and bought the forgotten whipped cream for their pumpkin pie!

Each page contains a simple thank you from a child's perspective, and this is what I sing to the students and they echo the melodic pattern back to me.

For example, page 5 is "Thank you for sending me, Mom."

Teacher sings: "Thank you for sending me, Mom" (sol-sol-mi-la-sol-sol-sol-mi)
Students echo: "Thank you for sending me, Mom" (sol-sol-mi-la-sol-sol-sol-mi)

Page 7 is "Thank you, music."
Teacher sings: "Thank you, music." (sol-mi-sol-mi)
Students echo: "Thank you, music." (sol-mi-sol-mi)

  • I like to use this activity at the end of the class, for a nice and calming wrap-up to our lesson.

  • Sometimes students are motivated to sing a solo echo pattern, so if time permits, I allow student volunteers to be my "echo buddy" and echo me on their own. 

  • If you have students who are brave enough to sing a solo for their classmates, be sure that their classmates recognize their efforts with a round of applause!  Simple moments like that will encourage others to give it a try for the next time!

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