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Upgrade the 6-Traits Songs
April 16, 2017
Elizabeth Chandler, 4th grade teacher at Reagan Elementary (Brownsburg, IN), initially used Ruth Culham’s 6-Traits songs to introduce the writing traits to her students. But her students wanted something more modern. Being a musical learner herself, Elizabeth saw the value in meeting her students’ learning needs. She began listening to some popular songs that she knew her students were familiar with. She listened to the choruses and began to consider how she could rewrite the trait songs to fit these new tunes.
When she introduced the new songs to her students, they loved them! After hearing the class perform them, Lori Medjeski, Reagan Elementary’s Instructional Coach, spread the word. And when other Brownsburg area teachers heard about the songs, Elizabeth was asked to have her class perform them for the primary students. Knowing this could be a repeating request, Elizabeth decided to have her students create music videos that all teachers could view at any time.
To make the videos both a musical and visual experience, the fourth graders used props to convey each trait’s function in writing. What a great way to introduce the 6 Traits and provide students with an authentic audience! (Also, notice the backdrop for each video—Elizabeth’s growing 6-Traits bulletin board! Perfect placement!)
To say this 6-Traits video project was a success would be an understatement. The videos became so popular that the corporation put them on their shared drive so everyone could access them! And now, Elizabeth and her fourth graders have graciously offered them to you to share with your students. Download a copy of the lyrics. (Veritas Academy teacher Raymond Callahan in South Bend, IN further developed the song lyrics Elizabeth Werner started. Access Ray’s version here.)
P.S. A special shout-out to the amazingly talented students in Mrs. Chandler’s class! You did an outstanding job! KUDOS! And Elizabeth, when you’re ready to retire from teaching, you may find a career in the music biz!
Special thanks to Roleen Demmings, from Indianapolis Public Schools, who recorded herself singing the modernized 6-traits songs.