Movement: Tapping Toes
Let students put on their own soft-shoe show. Just tape a penny to the sole of each shoe near the toe. Put on some lively piano music and invite children to try out their tappers! Can they make “soft, slippery sounds like rain on a tin roof” (from Song and Dance Man)? What other sounds can they make? As an extension, let children combine their tap-dancing with magic acts, jokes, and songs for vaudeville shows like Grandpa's.
Social Studies: Memory Makers
A time before TV? Young children have a difficult time grasping weeks gone by, much less decades. To expand their understanding of time, make memory trunks.
- Have children decorate shoe boxes and lids to make mini-trunks.
- Ask children to think about their “good old days”—a vacation or trip, a birthday, the day a new pet arrived. Have children choose items that represent their memories and place them in their trunks. Let children take turns opening up their trunks and sharing stories about the items inside.
Social Studies: Tell Me a Story
Have children interview grandparents or older family friends, inviting them to share memories of their past. (You could also visit a senior center for this.) Children can document their interviews with words and pictures or use audiocassettes or videotape if available. Sample interview questions follow.
- Did you have a TV when you were a child? What was your favorite show? What other things did you like to do for fun?
- What were the best things about school when you were a child? What was your least favorite thing?
- What games did you play when you were my age?
- Did you go to movie theaters or other kinds of shows? How much was a show? How much was popcorn?