Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Foxy Family Feast

The Fox went out on a chilly night,
Prayed to the moon to give him light,
For*he'd many a mile to go that night
Before he reached the town-o,
*He'd many a mile to go that night
Before he reached the town-o.
He ran 'til he came to a great big pen
Where the ducks and the geese were kept therein;
*"A couple of you gona grease my chin...
Before I leave this town-o"...(x2)*
He grabbed the gray goose by the neck
Tossed a duck across his back
*He didn't mind their quack, quack, quack
And the legs all dangling down-o...(x2)*
Then old Mrs. Flipper-Flapper jumped out of bed,
Out of the window she cocked her head
Screamin', *"Fred, Fred the gray goose is gone
And the fox is on the town-o"...(x2)*
Then Fred, he ran to the top of the hill
Blew his horn both loud and shrill.
*Fox, said he, "Better flee with my kill
For they'll soon be on my trail-o"...(x2)*
He ran 'til he came to his cozy den.
There were the little ones, eight, nine, ten.
They said, *"Daddy, Daddy, better go back again
'Cause it must be a mighty fine town-o"...(x2)*
The fox and his wife, without any strife,
Cut up the goose with a carving knife.
*They never had such a supper in their life
And the little ones chewed on the bones-o...(x2)*
Our tale of this family feast is done
The farmers and the geese didn't have any fun
*Clever Mr. Fox fed his family,
All down in their cozy den-o...(x2)*
This is a fun song we "dramatized" with two first grades this past week. We used masks for the fox, the farmers and the geese. We discussed the meanings of all the bold words. We talked about "young-uns" ie. baby foxes -"kits", baby geese - "goslings", baby ducks - "ducklings" and Mrs. Fox - "Vixen" Then we talked about what it meant to be "foxy" or clever and predation comparing "pray" with "prey". Yes, we did all this with first graders and it would be even better with second graders. We had them spaced out in groups around the room. ie. the foxes in a corner "down in their cozy den" (all 12). The ducks and geese in another corner. The farmers, just the couple, were laid out on top of desks, "sleeping". They loved fact, they loved the whole thing and wanted to do it again and again with new casts. We suggested alliterative names for all the "leads" ie. Foxes - Phil and Fiona, Geese - Gladys and her gander, George, and farmers Fanny and Fred.
This is the kind of "teaching fun" I was used to..."back when dinosaurs roamed the earth"...B.T. (Before Testing) This was when schools and teachers were "trusted" and didn't have to prove every year that their kids were learning and "improving academically" they could get more funding. Yes, budgets were still limited, teachers made do with what they always but it was almost "economic" Supply was "down" so...demand was "up"...and kids seemed to learn anyway, in spite of our "limited (paper-pencil) efforts" Amazing!?
Now our "Foxy-Clever" Schools have a greater "supply" of "ignored kids" (both work, in day-care all day, with grandparents etc.) and the "demand" is greater for more "results" that can be measured and proven so "funds" can be bestowed to "deserving" schools/teachers who know how to "test" pre- to post. What have we done to our "great, free, educational system"? The "foxes" are having a "feast"! And there's no one to even clean up or care about the "feathers"!?
The "moral" of this "Foxy Fable" that we, once more can have "morale" our schools is: "Allow our kids to learn and grow as whole persons, using all their modalities for learning/experiencing Life." (ie. aural, visual, audio, tactile, kinesthetic...playful, creative...enigmatic, trial and error, asking, questioning themselves...not just for tests of proof.) Talk about "going green" in our about doing the same with our most "precious supply" (our future- kids) Consume less...demand more...even with a greater supply...and we'll get more (quality) returns and live within our "budgets" Yes, I think there are parrallels to our current economic "recession". We all have to adjust our thinking and acting (consuming) downward and become more frugal in our "wants" and "demands" even from our schools. Then, maybe, just maybe, they can find their own "true value" again and we can "demand" what really counts and have a better society and future.RRR

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention the "Slo-Mo Chase" around the room. This is hard for primary students to do. They can go slow for about a minute...especially when they are "farmers chasing a fox and his stolen duck and gooss"...imaginations are great: the kits gnawing on on the bones is also feisty fun. Shock! The students are out of their seats and "running" in the room...they might get hurt...they are out of control...interesting to watch the regular teachers "panic". RRR