Week of April 13, 2020

Good Morning Learners,

Our Word of the Week is listen, which you will find on the TCS PrePrimary 4’s Schedule: Week of 4/13/20. We learn so much by listening! What noises make you prick up your ears? What are some of the loveliest sounds you know?

Maybe you love the sound of laughter. This is a poem about all the different ways we laugh.

“The Laughter Forecast” by Sue Cowling

Today will be humorous
With some giggly patches,
Scattered outbreaks of chuckling in the south
And smiles spreading from the east later,
Widespread chortling
Increasing to gale-force guffaws towards evening.
The outlook for tomorrow
Is hysterical.

What’s another lovely sound you can hear these days? Birdsong. Now that it’s spring, birds are returning from their migrations and are busy building nests and singing.

Listen to this cheerful orchestral piece, which is a celebration of baby birds and hatchlings. It’s called “Ballet of the Unhatched Chickens” and was composed by the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. Can you hear some of the little chicks scurrying around while others are still pecking and peeping inside their shells? The clarinets imitate their chirps. The baby chicks are very determined to get out of their shells. Can you hear how happy they are when they’re free?

This composition is part of a longer work called “Pictures at an Exhibition.” Mussorgsky had an artist friend whose works were put on display in a big exhibition. For 10 of the designs and paintings in the show, Mussorgsky wrote short pieces of music. The sketch that inspired “Ballet of the Unhatched Chickens” was this design for children’s costumes in a ballet; the children performed a funny dance as baby chicks not quite out of their shells.

The things we hear can inspire all kinds of art. What are your favorite sounds and noises? Wind in the trees, raindrops, a purring cat or the jingle of the ice cream truck? What art can you make from those inspirations?

We’d love to see (or listen to!) your songs, poems, drawings or artworks.