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Dramatic Possibilities With Writing Chants
Sonja Dunn

Excerpted from All Together Now: 200 of Sonja Dunn's Best Chants.

          Once students have heard, read, and performed rhythmic selections, it's time for them to create their own compositions. The best way for them to do this is to adopt a familiar chant and substitute new words following the same pattern.

          Children enjoy sharing their chants. Ask everyone in the class to write a chant and produce a classroom book, which can be bound and laminated. Send the book home with each student in turn -- children love to show a cooperative book like this to their families -- then add the book to the school library collection. Or, make a "poetree," a large anchored branch standing upright like a small tree, in the classroom. Children can hang their chants on it like leaves.

          Seeing what children write after experimenting with chants is very satisfying. When a child comes up with something really fresh, something you didn¹t think of, I hope you¹ll feel as I do: "Wow! This is so good." I find that the capability of chants to spark new creative work is their most rewarding aspect. Make sure you exploit this potential!

          Here are a few chants generated by students I have encountered over the years. They were inspired by other chants we had enjoyed in class, and each one is a special creation.


Dolphins and Whales
by Sandra Djivré

Dolphins and whales
Dolphins and whales
swim in the water
with great big tails
splashing all day
ignore the time
acting out life
in dolphin-whale mime


Magical Sauce
by Carl Haskell

Magical sauce
Good for power

Magical sauce
Sweet, not sour

Magical sauce
makes you grow

Magical sauce
Never say no

Buy a little bottle
at the corner store

When it¹s all gone
go and get more!


Keeping Fit
by Shawna Teper

Keeping fit
is easy to do
Running, skipping
Jumping too
Get up in the morning
and start to jog
You can even balance on a log
Sit ups, curl-ups
Walking too
Everyone can do it
It¹s up to you

Ice Cream and Cake
by John Golightly

Ice cream and cake
Ice cream and cake
good to the taste and
easy to make
mix together
all in a bowl
bake it, add icing
and that¹s about all

Published with permission. © 1999 Pembroke Publishers. This chant and 199 others appear in Sonja Dunn's All Together Now: 200 of Sonja Dunn's Best Chants.

It can be purchased in Canada from Pembroke Publishers. Also available from Amazon.com


See more of our Cheers, Chants, Raps, and Poetry 


All Together Now Book


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