In the Classroom: The Grasshoppers
Let’s start a band
It all began when we read, Max Found Two Sticks, by Brian Pinkney. We noticed that a persistent tap-tap-tapping started to emerge on a daily basis in our class. Feeling inspired by the story, Grasshoppers found sticks themselves to test out the sounds of various surfaces in our neighborhood.
As we continued, Shel Silverstein’s poem, Rock and Roll Band, inspired us to think about what instruments we would like to have in our very own bands. Kids identified instruments we had some experience with including drums, banjo and piano.It became clear that these children were interested in making their own rock and roll bands.
The teachers created intentional groups of kids. Students created set lists, band names, and goals for the bands by voting.
The new Grasshopper bands were called the Zebra and Giraffe Band, Potato Chips, and Dancing. Each band had a different agenda, some wanted to simply sing and dance, while others wanted to create their own instruments and “rock hard.” In small groups, the kids worked on their goals, practiced performing their favorite songs, and discussed how they wanted to perform.
Finally, the day came for some big performances. While the Zebra and Giraffe Band “went on tour” playing for other classrooms, Potato Chips and Dancing performed on the playground stage, as if at an open air festival. We measured the success of these performances, by the crowd of children from other classes that gathered and couldn’t help but join in!