Are You Living?: A Song about Living and Nonliving Thingsby Laura Purdie Salas, Viviana Garofoli
Sing a song of science! You know the song "Are You Sleeping?" Sing along with new words that explain the differences between living and nonliving things.
Children's Literature - Susan Treadway M.Ed"Are you sleeping, are you sleeping, Brother John, Brother John?" Incorporating familiar music with new lyrics in order to focus on curriculum is not a new approach, especially for preschoolers. Combining the senses is effective research-based instruction for the very young but can benefit elementary students, too. As investigative scientists, there are so many questions during the process of discovering and learning. Living things must move, grow, and reproduce. Nonliving things cannot. Living things require air, water, food, sunlight, and a place to live in order to survive. Nonliving things do not. Thus, "Are you living? Are you living? Are you not? Are you not? I breathe in and grow, so here's the fact I now know: I'm alive! I'm alive!" People, animals, and plants are shown in lively settings with small children as characters participating in several activities. Fact boxes are provided on most pages, which can be engaging for beginning readers as well as several age appropriate resources at the end of the book. Quite interesting, for example, is one section of the song that explores the brain: "Are you thinking? Are you thinking? Do you cry? Wonder why? People have emotions, thoughts and clever notions, feelings, too. Yes, we do!" A most useful audio file can be downloaded at http://www.capstonekids.com/sciencesongs.html for adults who might be unsure about their musical skills or incorporating music with instruction. Also helpful are the entire lyrics written in the back of the book with the notes of the melody. "Did You Know?" a "Glossary," "To Learn More," an "Index," and "On the Web" foster ways to expand possibilities for more in-depth study. Even without a popularmusical element, the "Science Song" series provides a worthwhile introduction to basic science concepts in rhyming text with bright, colorful illustrations. Reviewer: Susan Treadway, M.Ed
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