Content areas: Reading and Music
We can be inspired by so many different pieces of text, in so many different forms. When I ran across the book Fletcher and the Flying Leaves in our local library, I was intrigued with the topic of a young fox who has never seen the seasons change. As he watches a tree throughout the year, he goes through so many emotions about how the tree will survive. It’s a heartwarming story, but it also reminded me that many of our students may come from areas that do not experience the distinct change of seasons.
I will never forget when I was in high school and my parents both worked with a team in Puerto Rico. They invited the team up to visit us in the Northeast during the cold winter months and we took them for a drive to show them the area. In the car they looked outside with dismay and finally said, “we’re so sorry that all of your trees are dead”. They had never before seen bare trees!
Or the time in college when a wonderful friend stood in the middle of a snowstorm outside. She was from Hawaii and had never seen, felt or tasted snow until that moment.
It can be so easy to take the changing of the seasons for granted, yet it is a concept that many of our students need to learn, much like the young fox in this story. The arts, of course, are a prime avenue for connecting to the seasons. So for today’s lesson seed, I’m pairing the four movements from Vivaldi’s Four Season’s (can you guess the names of each movement? Yes…they are Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter) with this enchanting story for our youngest learners in kindergarten through 2nd grade. I hope you enjoy moving through this lesson as much as I did!
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.