Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Solar System Song


There’s something about little boys that just makes me smile, no matter how ornery they are. Maybe it’s because I have three of my own.

Whatever the reason, I find myself smiling again after a week’s worth of fourth grade science.

In learning about the solar system there is just so much to remember. For instance: Is Jupiter made of matter or gas? How many moons does it have? Is the planet hot or cold? Well, to enhance our learning, a musical genius wrote a little song and posted it on youtube.com.

Music and rhythm make learning facts a breeze. And since I am a huge fan of learning through song, I played “The Solar System Song for Kids” for my class.


In a melodic tone that mimics a lullaby the artist sings these words: 

I am the Sun.
I’m a burning ball of fire. 
I’m very big indeed. 
Life on Earth depends on me. 
I am the Sun.

How clever. I congratulated myself on the use of technology in the classroom.

As the song progressed down the line of planets I continued to pat myself on the back for figuring out how to use the Smart board. But the self-congratulatory back-patting was interrupted by a rustling of students and the startling lyrics…

I am Jupiter. 
I’m a gas giant.

A gas giant?

I glanced around our room. Two boys sat upright in their chairs for the first time that day. They eyed each other as if to say, “Did I just hear what I thought I heard?” They muffled their snickers with both hands just in time to hear the next phrase: 

I have the biggest moon.

It almost put them over the top.

With shoulders shaking, one boy crammed his face into the fold of his elbow to stifle his laughter. The other boy leaned expectantly toward the Smart board waiting for the next juicy lyric. While they regained control they made eye contact with almost every other boy in the class as if to silently sing, “Do you hear what I hear?”

And just when they thought they’d heard it all, a big blue planet sang:

I am Uranus. 
I’m an icy gas giant…

Oh my.

At that point, I feared I may laugh out loud myself. Their faces were contorted with happy disbelief at the lyrics being touted as learning. 

As the song ended they scanned my face for any trace of a sense of humor and begged to hear it again. In the interest of time, I declined.

And let me tell you, I don’t know what else they will remember about the solar system, but I’m certain of this: there are at least eleven fourth grade boys (as well as several girls) who will never forget that Jupiter is not made of solid matter but is instead a “gas giant.”

4 comments:

  1. Cracking up here!! That makes you a great sub teacher!

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    1. Well, I think the jury is out on that...check back in 8 weeks with the regular teacher : )

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  2. Would be LOL if I wasn't at work!! I had to stifle my laughter like a 4th grade boy:)

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    1. Way to show restraint, Mary : ) I was almost lol-ing in class at those boys : )

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