Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pirate Librarian: Sea Shanties

Pirate Songs to go with your Pirate Storytime:

I put in anywhere from 3 to 8 songs per storytime, depending on the age group, the availability, and the length of songs on the subject I’m reading about.  People often ask, “How do you get kids to sit still for storytime?” The answer is, “I don’t.”  Active songs bring a kinesthetic aspect for storytime and break up the “sit still and shut up” aspect of storytime.

The main reason I like to include Roger the Jolly Pirate by Brett Helquist in my storytime, because you can use the words to "What would you do with a drunken sailor?" in a kids storytime.  They get to sing a real sea shanty without, you know, the alcoholism.  The words and the tune are in the back of  Helquist’s book, but here is the first verse:

"Oh What shall we do with our Jolly Roger?
What shall we do with our Jolly Roger?
Oh What shall we do with our Jolly Roger?
Ear-ly in the morning.

Way-hey, up she rises,
Way-hey, up she rises,
Way-hey, up she rises,
Dreaded Jolly Roger."

It goes on like that, with each verse about parts of the story. Ask the children what happened and introduce the verses lyrics that way. Usually, a parent will answer but really try to encourage the kids to.  Narrative skills (recalling a story just read in narrative form) is a skill they will use the rest of their lives.

 The Hokey Pokey is an awesome song because it is one of the easiest Piggy-back songs there is.  I would be ashamed with how many times I've used the hokey pokey when I've gotten into a spot with Preschool-friendly songs, but I can't bring myself to be. (Repetition is good for learning right?) 

Here's the Pirate Pokey:

 "You put your right hook in, you put your right hook out, you put your right hook in and you shake it all about. You do the pirate pokey and your turn yourself around, that's what it's all about. Pirate Pokey! Arrrrrh!"

Continue with, Left hook, right boot, peg leg, eye patch, pirate hat, whole pirate self. You, of course, turn your hands into hooks, cover your eye for eye patch, put your hands on your head in for hat, and I like to tell them to keep their leg really straight for peg leg, because it's funnier that way.

There are also great Pirate Songs Listed on Born Librarian’s Blog here:

These went over really well at my Pirate Storytime, though I have to say that we replaced a line in “Pirate and you Know it.”   Instead of :

“If you’re a pirate and you know it, then you'll hear the sea winds blowin.”

We said:

“If you’re a Pirate and you know it, then your growl will surely show it.  Yarrrh!”

Another excuse to yell “Yarrrh!” during a storytime is always good I think.

So there you have it.  Pirate books (here) and Pirate songs to make a great Pirate Storytime for your little Pirates.

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