Saturday, December 20, 2014

Online Icebreaker: Songs My Mother Taught Me

[Note: This post began as a draft in June 2014 after I heard this tune on a plane. Video description: Antonin Dvorak's musical composition, Songs My Mother Taught Me, performed by Itzhak Perlman]

Different metaphors have been used to describe the learning process; learning is like a game, a conversation, combustion system, an ecosystem ... What if learning is like music-making or an inspiration of song? This idea came about when I heard Joshua Bell and Yo-Yo Ma play Dvorak's "Songs My Mother Taught Me." How about using this as an online icebreaker (warm-up activity)?

We could get a feel of students' expectations by asking them to create a playlist of:

Songs I Wish My Teacher Taught Me.

OR, get to know the students a bit better by asking them to come up with a playlist of ...

Songs My Mom / Dad / Teacher / Mentor / Community / XXX (Fill in the blank!) Taught Me.

[This activity can also be used at the end of a Unit to get a big idea of what students have learned.]

To illustrate, here's my current list of Songs My Mother Taught Me:

#1. A Hard Day's Night. (Beatles). Work hard.

#2. Change. (Carrie Underwood). You can make a difference.

#3. How You Live (Turn Up the Music). (Point of Grace). Don't spend your life looking back.

#4. Try. (Colbie Caillat). Accept yourself for who you are.

What about you? What are some songs you learned from your mom, dad, teacher, BFF, etc?


Laura Gogia said...

Ok, Yin, let's test this out...

Songs My Mother Taught Me:
1. Rollerskates (Melanie)
2. Cecelia (Simon and Garfunkel)
3. Islands in the Stream (Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton)
4. Yellow Submarine (Beatles)
5. Telephone (Sheena Easton)

Songs I Wish My Mother Taught Me
1. Roll with the Changes (REO Speedwagon) - "If your're tired of the same old story, turn some pages."
2. Take Me To Church (Hozier) Power in honesty vulnerability
3. Yes, Anastasia (Tori Amos) - Aim very very big when writing a song
4. Cool, Cool River (Paul Simon) - Just because it's the best song ever.
5. Laughing With (Regina Spektor) because it questions our relationship with God in a much more profound and real way than Joan Osbourne's One of Us. And no one laughs at God in a hospital - that's really true.

Hmm, yes, it's fun, engaging and people can take it as personal as they want. Nice idea. Thanks Yin.

Yin Wah Kreher said...

Laura, Thanks for testing this out.
Your mom taught you interesting stuff.
As for songs you wished your mom taught you, I had to look them up. They are very rich and meaningful songs. I enjoyed learning about them and you, a bit more, ;-).