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Everything Outside! Bugs, Garden and Weather Experiences & Videos

We adapted one of our favorite Fall music resources "It's Fall."  We learned this tune from Little Story Bug on YouTube, and for this experience we've adapted some lyrics and added a B section to include some prompted movements.  We use green, red, orange and yellow scarves as "leaves" that change colors during the Fall.  The chorus provides an opportunity for individual movement while we include prompted movement in each verse that mimic leaves in the wind (i.e. falling down, twirling around, on the ground).  We absolutely love using scarves in music because it provides an exciting opportunity for sensory exploration, visual tracking, gross movement, color recognition, hand eye coordination, and so much more.  When doing this experience live we will often invite kiddos to punctuate the phrase with "Fall" or the various colors listed during the chorus to increase vocal engagement and offer moments of redirection.

In “Seasonal Senses Song (Winter)” we begin by inviting kiddos to join in a drum-roll and vowel vocalization (an ascending octave slide on “ohhh”), which is repeated throughout the song to provide a grounding but engaging refrain. Each verse focuses on one of the five senses and how that sense can relate to a seasonal experience, in this case a winter experience—seeing snow outside your window, hearing the “whoosh” of winter wind, touching cold snow and making a snowball, smelling hot chocolate, and tasting a snowflake caught on your tongue, which is further reinforced with the visual video prompts. For each sense, we include a modeled action or gesture to reinforce  which sense is being engaged. We also prompt the kiddos at the end of each verse with a question regarding the corresponding winter experience (“Do you know what I see/hear/touch/smell/taste?”) based on the clues provided in the previous line to invite further engagement beyond movement, music-making, and vocalization.

"If You Got the Sun" is an acappella (no accompaniment) experience which we discuss briefly in the beginning due to the fact that Ben doesn't have his guitar.  We use gross and fine motor movements to engage the viewer and to discuss the plant process.  First a seed, roots grow, a sprout appears, the flower blooms and a seed comes out of the flower to start it all again.  The beginning "oh" with the body percussion creates an engaging and sensory based pattern for the view to successfully engage with each time!

This experience focuses on 7 colors that can be seen in a rainbow while using American Sign Language for all the color names, 'rainbow' and 'colors'.  The extra visual aids offer a more interactive experience with the viewer so they can call out what color is being asked to be identified.  With each repetition of the chorus we increase the tempo, thus increasing the ASL.  

This Rain Medley was inspired by Stephanie Leavell's "If All the Raindrops Medley."  This experience that ties familiar songs together would be beneficial for increasing independent engagement and language/ communication skills, due to the repetitive nature and familiarity of these songs (i.e. Itsy Bitsy Spider).  The main refrain of the experience "If All the Raindrops" conjures a silly theme of imagining the rain to be candy; the art of sabotage has been proven to increase communication and language with kids, so the idea of rain being candy can continue past this musical experience to further increase independent language development.

This experience provides so many opportunities for engagement, both virtually and in-person.  In this multi-sensory experience we encourage participates to get a scarf to imitate the winter wind, this provides opportunities for gross motor engagement and following verbal and visual directives. Throughout the experience we leave space for the participates to punctuate the phrase with 'winter' while providing the visual cue for students who need extra support in the hopes of increasing environmental awareness and vocabulary.  This experience can be taken a step further to expand on the senses used during the lyrics "when I hear...", "when I see...", and "when I feel..." before or after the experience in your sessions, classroom or telehealth.

We focus on the concept that flowers need sun and rain in order to grow so we focus on those three vocabulary signs throughout the chorus. Please note we're only teaching individual words in ASL, if you're looking to learn how to sign fluently we can direct you to classes and Deaf teachers that would be happy to teach you! We love incorporating ASL into musical experiences for the kinestic approach to understanding language. When you sing/say a word while signing the word you're providing three different pathways for the brain to make that connection for your students, visually (seeing the sign), auditory (hearing the word) and physically (moving our body while signing). You'll notice in the video we bold and underlined certain words to emphasize what word we're signing in the moment. We also included a countermelody in the video by singing the A section and B section at the same time and prompting our viewers to sing along with the words on the screen/with Ben or Anna depending on which round it was. This can be done in person by encouraging adults in the room to sing a section while you sing the opposite to give your students both models. This will also be a great experience to continue to present multiple weeks so the students will engage more and more vocally as the repetition continues week to week.

"Walking on Sunshine" is a great song to use after a discussion about the current weather or Spring/Summer weather.  This experience we focus on independent self expression through individual gross movement.  There are many repeated lyrics to encourage kiddos to increase language and communication by singing along (especially "walking on sunshine whoa!" section).  To help with not becoming over-stimulated by the high affect and rhythmic guitar, during the bridge we dramatically change the volume of the song to give a moment of more quiet energy and this will also offer an opportunity for assessing environmental awareness.

"Buzz Buzz Buzz" by Laurie Berkner Band

When we used to worked in school settings, we had large bug and insect themes during April/May area and this was such a big hit with our kiddos.  In this prerecorded experience, the last verse asks our friends to say their name out loud to be a part of the song with us. In live experiences however, we often called out different numbers of "bees" along with individual names to be highlighted in the middle of the circle, creating a turn taking experience that focuses on impulse control and cognitive skills such as counting, name recognition, appropriate movement and noises associated with bumblebees.

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