These songs, old and new, have numerous benefits: they are good for the brain, preserve a culture, teach history, provide opportunities to bond, and be a joyful, shareable experience.
Me: In Poetry, Song, and Art by Michelle Currin, writer and teacher, discusses what she learned at a particularly meaningful and inspiring professional development course, a “Picture Book Read In.” At this educators event, Currin and other teachers, were able to explore new books that were especially geared towards our right-brained, creative side. This Playful Learning blog focuses on biographies and autobiographies for children about poets and artists. The three books highlighted in this piece are Enormous Smallness by Matthew Burgess (about poet e. e. cummings), Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews (an autobiography about a musician), and Draw What You See by Kathleen Benson (about fine artist Benny Andrews). Sharing stories about artists and poets can have a profound impact on the life of a child. There is no greater achievement for a teacher than to inspire a student to reach their potential.
An inspiring article The Word Fairy: The Magic of Reading and Writing for Young Children by Veronika Shulman from Get Lit – Words Ignite describes their work in helping children and teens to connect with classic poetry and write their own original piece. They believe that if a student could “claim their poem” they could “claim their life”. Shulman’s article discusses the power of poetry to foster positive self-expression and a love for and appreciation of reading and language.