|FOR THE LOVE OF READING|
This week was my son’s 4th grade show. I love to hear young children sing in a chorus! What a privilege and a joy. I don’t know what it is about children’s voices coming together in song, but it almost always gives me chills and puts tears in my eyes. There is just something about those young voices coming together to make something beautiful. It’s truly awesome and special.
Having music in an elementary school is, hopefully, like having lunch. It’s a regular part of every child’s experience as a student. We, as a nation, seem to value its importance because we love music and inherently know that we also need music. Learning music is important. The experience of coming together as one musical voice is important.
Bringing children’s voices together is vitally important. Song is one way. Another way is through conversation. Yet, conversation is not a regular part of children’s experience as students. And I always wonder why.
The sheer power and emotion of hearing children’s voices in one chorus is amazing; hearing children’s voices converse with power and emotion is also amazing. And, I would argue, just as vital to brain development.
Peter H. Johnson, author of Opening Minds, advocates for the creation of dialogic classrooms, where children’s voices are engaged in conversation on a daily basis. Their voices and ideas are the star of the show. They read and engage in conversations about the perspectives of the characters. They think about how those perspectives can change their perspective and, ultimately, change the way they act and react in their lives.
Voices coming together for a purpose: to change minds. Literally.
Children need to sing. There’s something just simply heavenly about a choir of children’s voices. You just know it’s meant to be. There’s power in it.
But children also need to bring their voices together in discussions. And arguments. And debates. If you’ve ever been witness to children passionately engaged in a conversation about text, about anything, you will agree that it is just as heavenly. Just as meant to be. Just as powerful.
We can bring children’s voices together in dialogue every single day in our classrooms. We can make their voices the star of the show. We can do it confidently because it changes who children are and how they think. It helps them realize who they are and who they want to be.
We can really listen to each child’s voice, their song.
We can do it with joy.
4/3/2015 01:28:54 pm
I love this. I cry every single time I attend a show w/ children singing. Nothing gives me more pleasure than hearing their minds start to form opinions and ideas.
10/29/2022 09:37:01 am
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I have been lucky enough to have wonderful life experiences in the world of literacy education. I love to learn and talk about learning. Join me. Let's learn together.