When I first met Suzy from KindyKats I was so curious about what she was calling “piggyback songs.” The term just wasn’t something I was familiar with. She explained it to me and it was so simple and so brilliant. I invited her to write a guest post for me and explain what piggyback songs are and how we can all use them in our classrooms. She created a freebie for you all and I was so excited about her piggyback songs that I decided to try out her freebie myself. I just LOVED it. Read what Suzy had to say below and then see how easy it is to implement her freebie right away in your classroom.
Hi! I’m Suzy Moore, KindyKats over at Teachers Pay Teachers and @suzymoorewrites on Twitter. I’m a retired kindergarten teacher and a serial piggyback song writer and singer!
Have you ever heard of piggyback songs?
You probably have and just don’t realize it. Think about the “ABC Song”. The tune is “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” There’s a Comfort Inn commercial on television right now, piggybacking The Clash’s song, “Should I Stay Or Should I Go.”
Piggyback Songs for Young Children:
Piggyback songs are familiar tunes (like “Yankee Doodle”) paired with new lyrics. Pre-K through second grade teachers sing them to teach basic concepts (and get the wiggles out), but older students love them, too.
Piggyback Songs for Older Children:
You can challenge older students to create their own piggyback songs toward the end of a unit, a fabulous way to check for content understanding. The completed songs could also be used as an assessment. Follow these 3 Steps to writing piggyback songs, and set your students loose!
Why sing? Music is a great learning tool. It helps students retain information, teaches comprehension, benefits oral language. Besides, it’s FUN! Find out more about what research says about learning through singing here and here.
In my kindy class, we sang piggyback songs all the time. And I wrote them, too! When Jenny K. invited me to write a guest blog about piggyback songs, I created a packet that teachers can use anytime, all year long. This song combines word recognition, writing (tracing), singing, and movement.
Grab this freebie HERE or by clicking on the image below.
Piggyback Song: “Swing Like A Chimpanzee” to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat.
There is so much available to you in this freebie. It’s easy to get started and use right away. Print out everything, make copies and have your students practice tracing the words and then color all of the pictures.
If you want you can laminate the vocabulary words as well (at least a copy for you to use).
Print out the “Swing Like A Chimpanzee” song and let the kids color their own copies while you are all learning to sing the song.
Get your students together and review the song (to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”) and have them practice “wagging” like a dog or “stomping” like an elephant. They will love all the movement. Connecting learning with movement in this way is so effective for your students.
Watch this little clip of us “wagging” and “chomping.”
I know you’ll love using this with your students and enjoy the connection between singing, moving and learning. Suzy has an entire store FULL of piggyback songs that she has written (she’s pretty brilliant) and so many of them are seasonal, making it easy to connect them to all different times of the year and units you are teaching. Check them out HERE.
Thanks for reading and infusing your classroom with the arts!
Jenny K. & Suzy
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