by Victoria Bien
"Rainbow" was written as an assignment to prepare for Jim's visit to our school. Since I haven't had much experience in the primary grades, I didn't feel that I wanted to try writing the poem as shared-writing. Therefore, I assigned it as a small group project. We prepared by thinking about why we loved rainbows and how they made us feel. When my six groups had completed their poems and I read them, there were not any really outstanding ones. However, each one of them did have a part that created a lovely image. I was able to take the best part from each of the poems and put them together to make one that worked for us. We were very proud of it because we each had created a part of it. We loved it even more when we heard the beautiful melody that Jim chose for it and were delighted that he put it on a CD.
I enjoy listening to Jim's music and playing it for my students. The songs are happy and silly, uplifting and inspirational. The "Rainbow" song reminds us that together we can do more than we can do alone and that all of our personalities can blend together in friendship.
Rainbow (Jim Valley's Rainbow Garden CD)
A rainbow is a beautiful thing
Makes your heart want to sing
As you look into the sky
And see the colors floating by
A rainbow is a beautiful thing.
Each color is special
Each color is different
Like the people of the earth
When they blend together
Blend together in friendship
They create a gift of tremendous worth.
So let's all try to get along
As we sing this wonderful song
When we look at rainbows with a friend
The colors will last and never ever end.
Written on 9/10/01 by Mrs. Bien's 4th Grade class,
Leggee Elementary, Huntley, IL
Reading Lesson for "Friendship Train"
Lesson created by Liane Tande
Music by Jim Valley
Prior to the Lesson: Write the song onto a chart. Learn the motions using the movement sheets. Click Here for "Friendship Train" Movements.
1.Teach the song and the actions with the song chart.
2. After many opportunities singing the song, introduce song chart activities.
3. The students read the chart with special pointer sticks during worktime.
4. Write lines onto sentence strips (2 copies - - cut one apart)/
" Have students do word matching activities.
" Students read and put sentences into correct order.
" Play "Find the Word" (find given word-How many times do you see it?)
5. If enough book copies are available, students may read the book during worktime too.
WA 1.3 Identify letters, words, and sentences.
WA 1.11 Read common and irregular sight words.
WA 1.16 Read aloud with fluency in a manner that sounds like natural speech.
Students who learn the song complete with actions are also using cross body motions which strengthen learning capacity.
Do similar lessons for other songs. My students love this!
From Shelli Treely
Fun Songs for Educators by Jim Valley
From The CD Friendship Train|
From The CD McFiddle Dee Dee|
Can A Tree Be A Friend?
From The CD Rainbow Planet|
Fairy Tale Princess
I Feel Proud
From The CD We Have A Dream|
We Have A Dream
Friends Around the World
Multiple Intelligence Activities
Friendship Train - Have student share qualities they like to find in their friends, and list them on the board. Then have students trace a boxcar out of construction paper. Students each write their name and list qualities the feel they have as a friend on the boxcar. The boxcars are then "linked " together on the wall to form a class Friendship Train.
Friendship Bracelets - Each student chooses three 24-inch pieces of yarn in different colors. Students tie the pieces together in a knot at one end and have a partner hold the yarn until they get the braid started. After braiding the pieces together students tie a knot at the other end. Students give the friendship bracelet to a friend.
Measure Me - Have student s work with a partner to measure each other's head, wrist, ankle, waist, neck, arm, leg, etc . . . Students can use a tape measure or a piece of yarn and then place the yarn against a yardstick or ruler to get the measurement.
Family Friends - Help students discover what their parents' childhood friends were like. Brainstorm interview questions together from which student scan choose for the interview. They may want to ask other family members, too (grandparents, siblings, etc.) Choose a way for students to share what they learn.
Friendly Tunes - Work in groups to write songs about friendship to familiar tunes such as "Mary Had A little Lamb" or "Row, Row, Row Your Boat".
Friendship Comic Strips - Students can work together or independently to create a comic strip that shows how someone can make a new friend.
Shelli Treely is a Reading and Writing specialist from Mishawaka, Indiana