Starting with the story, not the singing.
- Do you know what jolly means? It says “jolly happy soul.” Can you use context clues to tell you what jolly means?
- Do you know what coal is? Have you heard people talk about coal in stockings? (if they don’t know), well, coal is…
- Fairytale they say? Do you know other fairytales? Are fairytales true? Mrs. Charlton our librarian has a whole section about stories that are made up? Do you know what word she uses for stories that aren’t true (mini fiction/nonfiction discussion)
- Can you spot differences that our illustrator showed us to show Frosty coming to life with the magic hat? (We compare and contrast here looking at both pictures).
- Why would Frosty hold his hand up against the sun. The sun is important and feels great. Why would he try to hide from it?
- What’s a village? How is it different/the same from the place we live? You know, I grew up in a village of about 350 people. Our school has about 500 kids (not counting teachers!) in it! Does that mean my village was small or big?
- Have you seen someone who acts like the traffic cop? Maybe a walker and now a bus-rider would be better at answering this question. Remember each day after school the person who stands in the crosswalk and helps you cross the street as you walk home? Do they look like the traffic cop in this picture?
- Thumpity thump thump. That’s the sound that something is making. What could be making that sound? Since frosty doesn’t have feet, how would he have to move?
- Could you imagine the sound that a jumping snowman would make? Would it sound like thumping?
The first day we take the time to sift through all the words and new concepts and the second day we sing. But that first day is WORTH IT! Before we leave I teach the singing of the “thumpity thump thump” because it’s easy to learn quickly and because the kids need the chance to rest their brains and learn something fun. We add an action and sing that part a few times. The second day of this lesson we sing and work through the story again (often with the book to prompt their remembering of the words) and add more actions until we’ve worked through the whole song.
Compare and Contrast with a listening example
Find a recording of Ella Singing "Frosty the Snowman" from her album "Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas!"
Holiday songs are great for adding vocabulary with students. I mean, how many kids immediately understand what a “one horse open sleigh” is? Use critical thinking skills to figure out that it’s not four or five horses. It’s different from Santa’s sleigh because a different animal pulls that. It’s an open, not closed sleigh, so what does that mean for someone riding in it… and on and on. Little questions make a big difference!