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BLAST Early Learning
Be Musical and Poetic!


This Jazz Man
by Karen Ehrhardt; illustrated by R. G. Roth
Presents an introduction to jazz music and nine well-known jazz musicians, set to the rhythm of the traditional song, "This Old Man." Includes brief facts about each musician.


Hickory Dickory Dock
by Keith Baker
Rhythmic text expands on the Mother Goose rhyme, including a variety of animals that react as the clock strikes one through twelve.


Open-ended Questions for This Jazz Man :
  • Which man was your favorite “jazz man”?



Activity :

Four Seasons Dancing
Use Vivaldi’s Four Seasons CD, and let the children dance to the different numbers. Choose songs that have different tempos, and go between fast and more slowly moving songs.

Mad Libs Poems
Choose simple nursery rhymes, for the students to alter into their own poetry. First take out the rhyming words, and then let them choose their own words that fill in the blanks. Ask for the first word, and then ask for a word to rhyme with that word.

For example:
To market, to market, to buy a big _____________
Home again, home again, jiggety ______________

Sample rhyming words:
• Frog/Hot-dog
• Cat/Rat
• Twig/Wig


Vocabulary Word:

rhythm: n. regular repetition of a beat
“This jazz man, he plays one, He plays rhythm with his thumb…”
(taken from This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt; pictures by R. G. Roth)


Additional Activities:

Craft: Bag Shaker
Have each child decorate a lunch bag with markers, crayons, or stickers. Have them drop a few pasta shells or dried beans in the bag. Fold the bag over twice and either staple it shut or use a hole-punch to punch two holes through the folds and tie it shut with a piece of yarn or craft ribbon.

Hickory Dickory Dock
Use the book Hickory Dickory Dock by Keith Baker, let the students complete the last line of each stanza on their own.  If they need help, start with getting rhyming words, then come up with the line.  It’s OK if it’s silly!

For example:
Hickory dickory dock
The mouse ran up the clock                                          
The clock struck one
Hickory dickory dock

Sample lines:
“Out came the sun
“The mouse was done
“The mousie won"
“It weighed a ton



Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme: Poems
selected by Jack Prelutsky; illustrated by Meilo So
Segmented into ten subjects, a collection of "poemstarts" provides amusing beginnings to a series of poems and challenges readers to complete the tale in their own special way, enhanced with large text and bold


Rap a Tap Tap:
Here's Bojangles, Think of That!

by Leo & Diane Dillon
In illustrations and rhyme describes the dancing of Bill "Bojangles"
Robinson, one of the most famous tap dancers of all time.


Hippopotamus Stew: And Other Silly Animal Poems
by Joan Horton; illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi
A collection of humorous poems about animals.


Awful Ogre's Awful Day
poems by Jack Prelutsky;
pictures by Paul O. Zelinsky
In a series of poems, Awful Ogre rises, grooms himself, dances, pens a letter, and goes through other activities as the day passes.