3-5, Books, Elementary Music, K-2, Lessons

I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello

Most music teachers include lots of books in their elementary music classes. I see this all the time on social media, in trainings, and in classrooms. But can I admit something to you? When I was first starting out, I felt like i was very unclear as to HOW to go about incorporating books. Like– what do you actually do with them? (And don’t say read them.)

A while later, and I am (finally!) starting to get the hang of using books in my normal classroom life. So if you are thinking, “I want to use books but I don’t know how!” Then this post is for you.

One book that I did not struggle with incorporating is the book I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello— a title which will from here on out be shortened, because wow that is long. I got this book from my mentor teacher during student teaching and I love it. It is based off of the There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly books, but everything the shy fellow swallows is an instrument!

Seriously, I love it.

And so do the kids.

So I figured it is the perfect book to introduce to you. Here are a few different ways that you can use this book in your classroom– some of them you could incorporate tomorrow.

If you don’t already have the book, you can get it here for cheap!

Also read: Game and Lesson for Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you See?

5 Ways to Use I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello in the elementary music classroom. Want to incorporate more books into your music lessons but don't know how? Check out these ways to use my favorite book to teach instruments of the orchestra, singing, and more! Becca's Music Room

Acting it Out

This is one of my personal favorites.

As you read the book, have students look at the pictures of each of the instruments. Have them mime with their hands how to play the instruments. So every time you say cymbals, students can pretend to hit cymbals together in their hands. When you say cello, they can hold one hand up and use the other to play the imaginary bow.

This gets the students involved in the story annnnd the added bonus is that they are now thinking about how each instrument is played rather than “Oh a cello is some kind of instrument I’ve never heard of before.”

Speaking of which….

Show and Tell

For instrument show and tell, you can read the book and then have students look at pictures or posters for each instrument and talk about how it is played.

If you have any of these instruments (and, btw, you can get a fancy silver kazoo on Amazon for cheap here), bring them in! I love to bring in my cello and show the students what it looks like and how it is played. They are always super amazed (and impressed by my Mary Had a Little Lamb rendition).

Oh course, you probably don’t own a cello AND a harp AND a saxophone AND a flute AND cymbals AND all of the other things, but if you have one of them, it is still going to make a huge difference for the students.

And again. Kazoo.

5 Ways to Use I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello in the elementary music classroom. Want to incorporate more books into your music lessons but don't know how? Check out these ways to use my favorite book to teach instruments of the orchestra, singing, and more! Becca's Music Room

Introduction to Instrument Families

This is what I used for my students this year, and it worked really well. I taught 2nd and 3rd grade about the instrument families. Later on, we read this book. While reading the book, I stopped at each instrument and had the students tell me what family that instrument belonged to. If they were correct, then they got to go to the board and put the picture of the instrument onto the section of the board.

For example, after the shy fellow swallowed the cello, I asked, “What instrument family is the cello in?” Athena says, “Oh it’s in the string family!” Athena walks up to the board, finds the cello, and puts it in the section of the board labelled “strings”.

5 Ways to Use I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello in the elementary music classroom. Want to incorporate more books into your music lessons but don't know how? Check out these ways to use my favorite book to teach instruments of the orchestra, singing, and more! Becca's Music Room

By the way, Athena is my dog, not one of my students. She is sitting next to me while I write this, so I thought I would include her.

A few days later, I have the student do pretty much the same activity but on a printed worksheet. Students write or draw the names of each of the instruments in the boxes that correlate with that instrument’s family.

If you are interested in the worksheet, instrument posters, or in the cut outs of the instruments or any of those things, you can get them all in my TPT product here!

5 Ways to Use I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello in the elementary music classroom. Want to incorporate more books into your music lessons but don't know how? Check out these ways to use my favorite book to teach instruments of the orchestra, singing, and more! Becca's Music Room

Singing

Did you know that there is a song that goes with the There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly books? There is!

Here is the best video I can find that has the melody, although we did it much faster than this.

I use the original book at the beginning of the year with my kinders to show the students the difference between singing voice and talking voice (read about that lesson here!). So I read it one day and I sing it another day.

Then if we read any variation like There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell (or a clover!) or I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello, the students can sing along with it the first time!

Instrument Playing

This one is a little bit trickier, but cumulative songs like this are fun to use with instruments. You assign each instrument a word in the song, and every time the word comes, you have a student play that instrument.

Parts of this book would be perfect, and others would take more creativity. Cymbals and a bell would be easy to come by, but finding an alternative to a cello or harp that won’t confuse the students would be more challenging.

Although, it would be a perfect time to pull out all of the autoharps in my closet that I don’t know what to do with…

If you have done this before or have a good idea for which instruments to use in your classroom, let me know in the comments!

Also read: The Tick Tock Song (sol/mi and ta/titi)

5 Ways to Use I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello in the elementary music classroom. Want to incorporate more books into your music lessons but don't know how? Check out these ways to use my favorite book to teach instruments of the orchestra, singing, and more! Becca's Music Room

So there are 5 ways to use I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello in your elementary music classroom! If you need the book, you can check it out here. If you are interested in the product on TPT so you can have more resources (many of which are really great for subs!), you can check that out here.

And don’t forget to sign up for the FREE resource library– all you do is put your email in, and you have access to all of the resources in the library (including quizzes, powerpoint, beat charts, lyric sheets, and more!)– and new resources are added monthly! Sign up here!

How would you use I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello in your classroom? Which was your favorite idea? Or do you have another idea? Let us know in the comments!

Happy teaching!

5 Ways to Use I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello in the elementary music classroom. Want to incorporate more books into your music lessons but don't know how? Check out these ways to use my favorite book to teach instruments of the orchestra, singing, and more! Becca's Music Room
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Books

A Ton of Mini Reviews: Books I Read this Year Part 2

This year one of my biggest goals was to read. I love reading, but with high school and college and having tons of books to read for school, I had a harder time reading books for fun. My original plan was to read 10 books and instead I read 20! So here are some book reviews for what I read this year.

Each review will be pretty quick, but if you click on the picture, it will take you to the Amazon page for each one. There you can read full reviews from people more literary than I.

The pictures are affiliate links, so if you click on them and then buy anything from Amazon, I will get a commission. You can read more about that on my Disclosures Page. Thanks for supporting Becca’s Music Room!

And, before we get into everything, you should know that all of the books on here are books I recommend. I didn’t read anything this year that I didn’t like!

I am breaking the list into two posts because there are so many that it seemed like too much for one post. You can read Part 1 here.

You can check out what I am reading next year here: 2018 Reading Challenge

A Ton of Mini-Reviews: Books I Read This Year Part 2. Becca's Music Room. A bunch of reviews for books.

La Morte d’Artur

I have a serious obsession with King Arthur. It may be because I love the British TV show Merlin. But seriously, knights, princes, dragons, and wizards… how could it be better?

This book is all about King Arthur’s life, and his knights, and all of their battles.

It is long, so it would probably be better to read just a few books at a time instead of al at once.

My Cousin Rachel

I love Daphne du Maurier. Rebecca is one of my absolute favorite books. I was really excited to pick up My Cousin Rachel, and it did not disappoint.

Du Maurier is known for writing dark, suspense, and kind of creepy books. It is a nice middle ground—they aren’t scary per say, but they are suspenseful.

This book is all about a young guy whose uncle gets married to a lady he just met and then dies mysteriously. He spends the book trying to figure out how he died and getting to know his aunt, who is also a distant cousin of his, whom he had not met before.

You will be on your toes the entire time. And the ending is very surprising.

The Jungle Book

I picked this baby up for $5 on sale at Barnes and Noble. I have been trying to read through a lot of the classics (hence, Anna Karenina and La Morte d’Artur). I have never seen the movie the Jungle Book, but I loved the books.

The main story is about Mowgli and how he lives with animals and gets captured by monkeys. It is also a pretty quick read, as the whole book is less than 200 pages.

The Art of War

I grabbed this one on a whim because I was reading about King Arthur forever.

This wasn’t my favorite book that I read this year, but I am glad I read it because it is such a commonly referenced book.



A Ton of Mini-Reviews: Books I Read This Year Part 2. Becca's Music Room. A bunch of reviews for books.

Love Your Life Not Theirs

This was a good book. I am not usually into self-help books, but I loved this one.

Rachel Cruze is one of my favorite people, and one of the only YouTubers that I watch. She is all about practicing contentment as a way to be smart with your money.

Love Your Life Not Theirs is about habits to put into place to help you be happy in your journey, and be smart with your money. It is all about contentment and not comparing your life to other people, because that can lead to bad money habits and debt.

I recommend this book to EVERYONE, because everyone has to take care of his or her money.

The Complete Guide to Money

Dave Ramsey is Rachel Cruze’s dad. They both write books and work to help people be financially smart. He is kind of radical in his views—he is completely against any sort of depts. —But his ideas are helpful.

This book is great because it goes into depth about “money words” that you always hear and don’t know what they actually mean. He talks about insurance and retirement funds and investing. It is a very good how-to guide for those of us who would like to be smart with our money in the long run but is not sure how to do that.

800 Leagues on the Amazon

This is my favorite of Jules Verne’s novels. And I love Jules Verne.

His writing is fun, adventurous, and also scientific. He gives a lot of details about animals and plants and the Earth’s atmosphere, etc.

This one was my favorite because I did not know how it was going to end.

This is about a family who travels from their farm on a huge raft that they made to take their daughter to get married. On the way, a man who is trying to get money from the father by blackmailing him is following them. The family has no idea about the incident that caused the blackmail.

And you will be surprised many, many times.

The Secret of the Jungle

This is also by Jules Verne. I believe this is a sequel to …… which I have not read. But this one was very good.

It is about a group of people who have been stranded on an island for years, and have created a functional village out of it. During the book, mysterious things keep happening to help out the people. Telegraphs get wired and no one knows who sent them… people get taken care of and they don’t know who did…

I don’t want to spoil anything, but it will make more sense if you have read some of Jules Verne’s other novels like Around the World in 80 Days or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or Journey to the Center of the Earth.

You actually only need to know one of those, but I don’t want to give anything away.

Even if you haven’t read those, this is a good story.

I couldn’t find just this novel on Amazon, so I linked the Complete Jules Verne novels. And if you look, it is ridiculously cheap.

Mere Christianity

I have read some of C. S. Lewis’ books (can you say Chronicles of Narnia?) and I love the way that he writes. This is a book I have heard a lot about but never read.

This book is basically finding a logical case for Christ starting from the point of an unbeliever. It is really interesting, especially if you are someone who has grown up in the church and never thought about Christ in a non-faith based way.

This is a case for Christ with logic first and faith second.



So that is all of the book reviews for 2018! That is quite a few books.

 

I am keeping track of my reading on some lists.

I have read 29/116 of the Barnes and Noble Classics list.

I have read 37/339 of the Rory Gilmore book challenge (yes, someone made a quiz with every book mentioned or seen in the TV series).

 

What books did you read this year? What was your favorite? Have you read any that I have? Let me know in the comments!

A Ton of Mini-Reviews: Books I Read This Year Part 2. Becca's Music Room. A bunch of reviews for books.



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Books

A Ton of Mini Reviews: Books I Read this Year Part 1

This year one of my biggest goals was to read. I love reading, but with high school and college and having tons of books to read for school, I had a harder time reading books for fun. My original plan was to read 10 books and instead I read 20! So here are some book reviews for what I read this year. Each review will be pretty quick, but if you click on the picture, it will take you to the Amazon page for each one. There you can read full reviews from people more literary than I. The pictures are affiliate links, so if you click on them and then buy anything from Amazon, I will get a commission. You can read more about that on my Disclosures Page. Thanks for supporting Becca’s Music Room! And, before we get into everything, you should know that all of the books on here are books I recommend. I didn’t read anything this year that I didn’t like! I am breaking the list into two posts because there are so many that it seemed like too much for one post! Make sure to subscribe for the next installment!

You can check out what I am reading next year here: 2018 Reading Challenge

A Ton of Mini Reviews: Books I Read this Year Part 1. Becca's Music Room

Anna Karenina

I have tried to read this book a few times, and this is the first time that I made it all the way through. I really enjoyed it. However, it is long. And sad. This is the book that coined the phrase “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” So it is about a bunch of unhappy families. Some of them get happy and some do not. I don’t want to give anything away, so I will just leave it at that.

The Bible and the Qur’an

I believe that my husband had this as a textbook for a class in college. However we got it, I was always curious. This is about the differences (and similarities) of the Christian and Muslim faith. I found it interesting to learn more about a faith that is very publicized and very misconstrued—a lot of things that the Muslim faith advocate (like peace and love) are misconstrued by the Muslims we hear about on the news. Just like people can pick and choose things in the Bible and get Christianity really messed up, people pick and choose things out of the Qur’an and get Islam really messed up.

Teaching with Poverty in Mind

If you are looking for a good teaching book—look no further! I always knew that poverty effects students, but I had no idea by how much. This book gets deep into the physical and mental effects of poverty. It also goes through strategies to help you teach those students. Even though there are a lot of facts, it is well written and easy to read.

Sherlock Holmes

I love Sherlock Holmes. Crazy detective with his very normal best friend… It’s like The Big Bang Theory with mysteries. What could be better? I read 10 short stories this year. My favorite has been The Hounds of Baskerville, but I really enjoyed all of the ones I have read.

The Rebel Queen

I. Love. Michelle. Moran. You have no idea. Historical fiction has always been my favorite genre (I mean, seriously. Learning about history while reading for fun? What is better?! I know. I am a dork…) and no one does it quite like Michelle Moran does. This book is about one of the queens in India during the British take over. The main character is one of her guards. It has diplomacy, secrecy, romance, etc. and it will keep you guessing all the way to the end. Seriously, I had no idea what was going to happen. I don’t want to give anything away, but you should read it. Here is a link to her website, if you are curious.

Mata Hari’s Last Dance

Also by Michelle Moran, this book is about a famous Dutch dancer in Paris. She is actually pretending to be from India and somehow ends up being accused of being a spy during World War I. As with all of Michelle Moran’s books, it keeps you guessing. Again, no idea how it would end.

The Heretic Queen

This is probably my favorite Michelle Moran book. It is about an Egyptian princess who marries Ramses II, AKA the Ramses from the Bible. Her aunt, Nefertiti, had been an Egyptian Queen, and Pharaoh in her own right. She and her husband had changed the gods of Egypt, so everyone thought that they were heretics. Therefore, she spends the whole book trying to convince people that she is not a heretic. Full disclosure, if you are familiar with the Bible story of Moses and Ramses, this story is different. She says in the back that it is due to lack of physical evidence of the Bible version. This was the only thing I didn’t like about this book, but I don’t think it ruined it. I had actually already read this one, but I still could not put it down.

The Old Man and the Sea

I have been on a Hemmingway kick since my husband and I went to the Hemmingway House on our honeymoon. I have sort of a love-hate relationship with Hemmingway. In general, I love his non-fiction but am not a fan of the way his fiction is written. I did enjoy this one. It is literally about an old man who goes fishing everyday with a young boy from the village. It is a very quick read, as it is barely over 100 pages.

A Movable Feast

Like I said, I prefer Hemmingway’s non-fiction. I love this one. It is my favorite Hemmingway book I have read. This is a series of true stories from when Hemmingway lived in Paris. Because of this, it talks about his encounters and friendships with writers and painters in Paris. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso, Gertrude Stein, etc. It is fascinating and very well written.   So that is half of the book reviews for 2018! That is quite a few books. I am keeping track of my reading on some lists. I have read 29/116 of the Barnes and Noble Classics list. I have read 37/339 of the Rory Gilmore book challenge (yes, someone made a quiz with every book mentioned or seen in the TV series). Make sure to subscribe for the next installment!   What books did you read this year? What was your favorite? Have you read any that I have? Let me know in the comments! A Ton of Mini Reviews: Everything I Read this Year Part 1. Becca's Music Room

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Books

2018 Reading Challenge

I have always loved to read. As a kid, I used to get a large stack from the library every week and I would read every single one of them in a week. It got harder as I got older—in high school and college, I was reading so much for school that reading for fun was not on my radar. Thus, the 2018 reading challenge was born.

Really and truly, I guess it would be that the 2017 reading challenge was born. The beginning of this year is when I really tried my best. In 2017, I planned to read 14 books, and I ended up reading 20. I was pretty proud of myself about that.

Subscribe and stay tuned to read a post about what books I read this year.

This year, my goal is to read one book more than I read last year—however, a few are parts of series so it may not seem like it when you count up how many are here.

I am also focusing on adding in more non-fiction, because I have read really amazing statistics about non-fiction books.

Like apparently, most millionaires read a non fiction book a month. (source)

And if you read one non fiction book about your subject area every month, you will be an expert in 7 years. (source)

7 years!?

I am game for anything that will make me a better musician or teacher, so I am incorporating more. I don’t think I am quite disciplined enough for one non fiction book about my subject every month, but I am working towards that. Baby steps.

You may also be interested in Ways to Destress After a Crazy Day of Teaching

Anyway, here are the categories for my 2018 reading challenge!

2018 Reading Challenge. 13 Catagories of books both fiction and non fiction to read in 2018 for fun (or for learning). Becca's Music Room

Fiction

Something long (500+ pages)

I have a love affair with long books. I love them. They are my favorite. They prolong the excitement and you feel so accomplished afterwards! Some of my favorites have been Anna Karenina, Harry Potter, and Little Women. (PS you can click on any of these books to see them on Amazon)

Something short (>150 pages)

This year, I spent so much time on my long books, that I needed a quick victory. I haven’t picked one for 2018, but in 2017 I read The Art of War.

10 short stories

Short stories are fun, and I find that they are often left out of reading lists and challenges! This is my chance to remedy that! I love Daphne du Maurier and Sherlock Holmes. (the Sherlock Holmes is the complete collection for ridiculously cheap!)

Something I have read before

I love to re-read books! I always feel bad re-reading something when I have so many books that I want to read and haven’t. this gives me the allowance to read something I have before. My top picks are anything by Daphne du Maurier or Michelle Moran.

A series (3+)

I think there is something to be said about reading multiple books in a row. The Wicked series is good, also The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter.

A classic

I am serious about the Classics! I usually find them so rewarding—they are classics for a reason! I am trying to check off the classics on this list. I am at 27 right now. My favorite classics have been Little Women, Rebecca, The Great Gatsby, and The Scarlet Letter.

An Adventure Book

I don’t know if this is the right word., but I like adventurous books. Books where people are going on safaris or racing around the world… they are just so much fun! My top picks? Anything by Jules Verne! Click one the picture to get ALL of his novels, which is amazing and available for free for download on Kindle (as of Dec. 5, 2017).    

2018 Reading Challenge. 13 Catagories of books both fiction and non fiction to read in 2018 for fun (or for learning). Becca's Music Room

NonFiction

A book about money

Money is something we all have in common—we need it, we want it, and we need to figure out how to handle it well! This year I read a few. I recommend anything by Dave Ramsey. He is a little bit extreme, but The Complete Guide to Money in particular does a good job explaining fancy money things to people who do not know them.

2 books in your field

Yes, I said you have to ready one a month to be an expert in 7 years. Baby steps! I am starting with two this year. I teach music education, so my thought is to read one about music and one about education.

A book about Religion

Your religion, someone you know’s religion, a religion you don’t know anything about.. take your pick. Religion is so integral to people’s cultures, thoughts, and beliefs. This year I read The Bible and the Qua’ran and Mere Christianity.

A book about relationships

You want to be an expert in your field—you should also want to be an expert in relationships! Alright, maybe not expert, but knowledgable. I really think that is you want to know something, then you should read a book about it. Hence, this list. I have not read this one, but have heard great things about it.

A biography

About anybody. I have a Walt Disney one I have been dying to read, and I also want to read this one about Hemingway. Which one to chose? Maybe both.

!

Something that sounds good

Surely over the next 12 months, I will find something to read that I don’t know of yet. That is why I am leaving my last  open. I will also not stick to this list completely. If I find a book that I want to read, I am going to read it! But this is a good starting point. Stay tuned for my list of top picks for the 2018 reading challenge!

What books are on your 2018 reading challenge? Anything that I missed? Suggestions to fill category? Let me know in the comments!

2018 Reading Challenge. 13 Catagories of books both fiction and non fiction to read in 2018 for fun (or for learning). Becca's Music Room

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