Chunky Monkey

This is the third activity write-up for Wooly Week 2019, go read that post to find out what other amazing activities we tried in our class over the past two weeks.

I did not follow the plans at all for this activity, but here is the intention: type up lyrics of a song, cut them up into small chunks, and have the kids put them back in order. It’s just like a sentence scramble and super simple to prep: type, print, cut. This can be done as a predictive activity (sorting before they hear the words or know the song), as a listening comprehension activity (sorting while they listen), or as a memory activity (after listening). You can do this with poems and stories, too. As long as you have kids who can read and sort things, you can do this activity. I’ve been aware of this activity for a while, but this is the first time I have actually used it… and even still, I didn’t use it properly. It is quality exposure, and I’m sure I will do it “right” eventually.

Here’s how (and why) I did what I did: At the same time that chunky monkey was released, so was matamoscas. I loved the images included there too (pictures from the final version, not just sketches!). I wanted to do both, but I didn’t have time for both. So, I used the materials from each to basically re-do Bunches of Hunches. I printed off the page of 15 pictures and the 8 lyric chunks, and cut them out. Then I broke the kids into small groups and gave them the pictures. They had to work together to sequence the pictures in a way that told a story. Once they could tell me a story I gave them the lyrics. I did warn them that (1) some words would match only one picture while others took sets of 2 or three, and (2) they might have to rearrange their pictures to include the new information. Again, they weren’t done until they could tell the story using the pictures and the words.

Once all of the teams had formed their story I finally acquiesced and showed them the real video. I didn’t tell them to, but while they watched they also checked in with the progress of the stories they had created, and within their groups they modified and shuffled as the video went along. This was really cool, because they were so invested in evaluating their thought processes that they wanted to get everything right before the end was revealed. They couldn’t do that if they stopped watching the video though, so it was a big challenge for them. Of all of the activities we did, I think this one was my favorite because it was such a cognitive task for them in every sense of the word.

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