Monday, April 20, 2009

Dry Bones

Let's collect those dry bones! This traditional African-American Spiritual is perfect for learning parts of the body, and the innovative die-cut holes on each page helps us to identify them.

A full skeleton at the back of the book teaches us the scientific names for the major bones in the human body.

Magical die-cutting draws the reader from page to page of colourful artwork. Soon the rhymes will be read or, more probably, sung by heart.

Dry Bones

Key Learning Areas
- Literacy - Pre Reading
- Literacy - Early Reading
- Literacy - Intermediate Reading
- Vocabulary Building
- Spelling & Word Building
Age Level: 2 - 6 years
Type: soft cover
Dimensions: 290 x 290 mm

This is just one of the "Classic Books with Holes" series available at

Check out all the other titles today. Great classroom resource.

Drawing - An important part of learning

Though I may be a music educator most of the time, I am passionate about all of the Arts!


You may find some things that music teachers can use, or ideas that you may share with other educators. For the whole article go to, Downloads, Visual Arts.

Happy Drawing

Children use drawing as language. Indeed, because drawing is spontaneous and independent of cultural norms, it is their most expressive language while learning the codes of literacy. The content of children's drawings is far more complex and subtle than their verbal equivalent could possibly be. Fortunately there is no competition between the two; ‑it is now well known that drawing and words flourish in a symbiotic relationship. When children draw, they use words simultaneously ‑ S.L.Jent for the most part but occasionally audible ‑ and vocabulary and syntax are enriched by the complexity and subtlety of drawing's subject matter. Drawing stimulates literacy in other ways; caring adults engage children in conversation as a way to motivate drawing. The finished work provides opportunities for beginning writing.


Children get to know their world through direct experience or through books, movies, videos, and still photography. The brain is an efficient storehouse of mental imagery derived from these sources. The great art educator Viktor Lowenfeld refers to passive and active knowledge which directs us to the importance of motivation, the goal of which is to make passive knowledge active. For example: children will have had many experiences of different kinds of trees but their drawings will be more empirically correct if the teacher projects slides of different varieties when motivating drawings of the forest and its ecology.


Children delight in finding imaginative solutions to mechanical problems to which they often apply wit and wisdom. Another advantage: those who have difficulties with realism may enjoy diagrammatic drawing. This activity is an important contributor to intellectual development and the scientific attitude.

* Problems are set by the teacher or brainstormed by children. The teacher explains that problem solving may Involve combinations of 1) words ‑ headings, labels, captions, expository prose, even poems; 2) drawings, charts, diagrams, cartoon sequences; and 3) numbers ‑ measurements, specifications, proportions.

* Individuals or small groups work on the problem and come up with solutions.

* These are photocopied and organized on a wall chart or mural. The originals remain in notebooks.

* A formal discussion determines their strengths and weaknesses. Students create a display poster of the best.

National Education and the Arts Statement

The arts are integral to our sense of identity—as individuals, as communities and as a nation. Through the arts and creative cultural expression we learn about ourselves: who we are, where we have come from and what we feel, value and believe.

An education rich in creative arts maximises opportunities for learners to engage with innovative thinkers and leaders and to experience the arts both as audience members and as artists. Such an education is vital to students' success as individuals and as members of society, emphasising not only creativity and innovation, but also the values of broad cultural understanding and social harmony that the arts can engender.

Want to read more? Go to for the whole article.