Monday, April 16, 2007

I had a little turtle...

Altering, Changing and in Other Words, Just Making it your Own

I change fingerplays and songs all the time!

I can't tell you how many times I've seen a fingerplay, rhyme or song that just did not click with me. It made no sense, could be better if, or, due to my lack of musical ability, one I just could not get the rhythm down on...

If you google a line from a fingerplay you remember as a child, you will find that there are countless versions. Maybe it's just the nature of verbal storytelling, things change, a lot. I also realize that wherever you travel, there will be cultural differences and that could account for a lot of the many variations as well.

Often as I perform a rhyme, over and over, I find that by making little changes to the text, I can make things a lot more fun, or just make more sense. One of my oldest revisions was to 'Tiny Tim':

Tiny Tim
(Amy's version)

I had a little Turtle
~one hand on top of other, thumbs out and wiggling for legs
His name was Tiny Tim
I put him in the bathtub

~hand turtle swims up and down
To see if he could swim

He drank up all the water
~ASL sign for water - 3 fingers tap chin
He ate up all the soap
~head to hand, testing forehead for temperature
and now he's sick in bed with a bubble in his throat!
~point to throat

~oops, surprised look

~hands form a bubble in front of mouth
~bubble grows
~bubble is HUGE now.... anticipate it, turn your head, eyes dart to the bubble, it's gonna...

~clap hands together

That was my version. There are a LOT of other versions out there. But for me, it was the perfect opportunity to teach kids the big/bigger/biggest concept. And believe me, with that POP at the end, it's a hit everytime.

Now, I'm not saying that my versions are better than any others. After all these years of seeing storytimes and laptimes, I find I am continually hearing other variations or seeing different actions that really get me excited about trying it differently the next time. That's what makes it so much FUN!

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