3 Ways to Jam Out to Laurie Berkner, Zoobean-Style

We are rockin’ out with joy thinking about tomorrow’s #ZoobeanExperts hangout with the fabulously talented Laurie Berkner! If you aren’t already familiar with Laurie’s “kindie rock” music, check it out now!

In anticipation of our chat with Laurie, we have chosen three of her most beloved songs and connected them with literacy and arts projects. Singing with kids is a simple, proven way to build their literacy. Enjoy these activities, and remember to tune in tomorrow at 1:30pm ET. There will be singing, so bring your kids!


1. I Know a Chicken 

Listening is a critical component in building literacy, and music gives us the chance to work our listening muscles! Recent data shows that listening and adding movement to text also ensures that learning “sticks” even more. As you dance to “I Know a Chicken,” try making up choreography that allows you to act out the words. When you say “I”, point to yourself, point to your head for “know” and for “a chicken,” flap your chicken wings! Continue with other parts of the song, too. The repetitive nature of this song gives kids the chance to connect words with actions  Listening is more than simply hearing. Listening includes processing and comprehending oral information, and this activity gives kids a fun way to visualize the words that are being sung. Of course, you can do this for any song, which can make car rides around town learning experiences!


2. Moon Moon Moon

Writing lyrics to a song can be a complex activity for little kids, and the use of repetition can give you a great starting point. “Moon Moon Moon” has an incrediblethat is very easy to do. Instead of singing about the moon, think of something else that you want to sing about. Then, come up with simple rhymes that fit the rhythm of the song. For example, you can sing about a tree and sing “Tree tree tree, you’re so tall. Tree tree tree, your leaves fall. Tree tree tree, you give us shade…” This activity not only fosters creativity and enables your child to work on word sounds and rhyming, but it also encourages children to make observations and describe something in nature like the moon.


3. We Are the Dinosaurs

This crowd favorite is sure to get everyone moving, and by playing this Musical Hearts activity from No Time for Flashcards, you can easily combine music, dance, and literacy development. It’s a bit like musical chairs, with instructional hearts instead of seats. Give the activity a Laurie Berkner spin by playing the song and replacing some sample instructions with options like, “March like a dinosaur” and “Roar like a dinosaur.”  

For kids who are ready, try swapping out other fun instructions like, “Fill in the blank: The word dinosaur starts with the sound ___.” Then, another instruction such as, “Grab everything in the room that starts with the sound ‘d’ and place them ___.”  Let your child help you write each one of the instructions on separate hearts. Letter sound and recognition are the building blocks for literacy, and even if s/he can’t write out his/her own, watching you form the words on the hearts is valuable exposure to writing.