Monday, March 21, 2016


We didn't have many books in our home when I was a little girl, but we did have this well-loved copy of A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES. "The Swing" was always my favorite because I loved to swing and the rhythm of the poem made me feel like I was actually swinging.  Some things never go out of style, such as this poem.  I recited it to Kalina one day as I was swinging her and she said, "I like that.  Say it again."
Children don't visualize much any more because they are always sitting in front of a screen.  This poem would be a wonderful opportunity for them to close their eyes, use their imaginations, and make pictures in their brains.

The Swing
By Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!                                   

Since we are at the park today I wanted to share this movement activity about a seesaw.  
Ask your students if they know what a seesaw is? Some people call a seesaw a teeter-totter. Can they make a seesaw with their body? Do the chant slowly several times with a syncopated beat. Be sure and be a little dramatic with the “boo-hoo.”

I'm A Seesaw
I’m a seesaw    (Spread legs apart. Arms stretched out horizontal.)
In the park.
Children ride me   (Right arm down to right leg and left arm in air.)
Until dark.   (Left arm down to left leg and right arm in air.)
Then off the jump   (Jump feet together.)
And home they run.   (Run in place.)
While I stay in the park   (Arms stretched out again.)
All alone…boo hoo!   (Bend head sadly to right and then left.)

Have children stand like a seesaw. Explain that a seesaw is similar to the balance scale in the math center. When you put something heavy on one side, it goes down and the other side goes up. Let’s pretend you are a balance scale. If I put a brick in your right hand, what will happen? I’ll take the brick away from your right hand and put it in your left hand. What will happen now? Give other examples for children to demonstrate with their arms. Put pretend amounts of numbers in the children’s hands and have them show you with their arms. Here are 6 apples for your right hand and 3 apples for your left hand. Here are two books for your right hand and two books for your left hand…etc.