Monday, February 16, 2015

Chris Raschka and All That Jazz

Listening to John Coltrane's "My Favorite Things" and drawing what the music makes you feel or see.  My kindergarten students created works of art based on a piece of jazz music.  The lesson started off with an introduction to John Coltrane and then I explained to my students that the author/illustrator, Chris Raschka, listened to Coltrane's "Giant Steps" while he illustrated the story of the same title.  Raschka pieced together the music using a box, snowflakes, raindrops, and a kitten. 

The narrator welcomes readers to the performance.  The illustrations move along in primary colors providing the piano, bass, melody, and tempo.  The book provides a basic intro to jazz and Coltrane.  I read aloud the book first, then played the song while reading aloud the certain parts.  Students and I worked on identifying the saxophone, piano, and the bass.  The song makes it easy to identify some parts because the saxophone will rest through part and the piano can be heard over other instruments.

I loved providing my students the opportunity to be like Raschka and draw how they heard the music from "My Favorite Things" or what it made them think about.  This was a meaningful way for me to bring Black History alive for my younger students while combining multiple media for them to work with.

Book cover image from Simon&
"My Favorite Things" video from

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