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Our Marching Band

Last updated Thursday, February 21, 2008

Author: Lloyd Moss
Illustrator: Diana Cain Bluthenthal
Date of Publication: 2001
ISBN: 0399233350
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Mar. 2008

Synopsis: From Amazon.com: Ralph loves the tuba. Maureen fancies the flute. Betsy likes the glockenspiel, and for Calvin it's the drum. Belinda prefers the trombone, Harry craves a clarinet, and Sam longs for a saxophone. And then there's Mae McCall-a natural born leader with a baton. What's a group like this to do? Form a marching band, of course. It's not all beautiful music at first-when the kids play, the grown-ups cringe and cover their ears. But these kids aren't giving up, and before long they have even the mayor convinced that practice does make perfect!

Note to readers:
•  Explain instruments and what they look and sound like
•  Here are some vocabularly words you may want to explain: parading, serenading, tootle, twirling, baton, marvelous, stunned, groaned, sighed, moaned, confound, bellow, complain, veering, perservering, mayor, represent, befit, blare, trilling, zeal, brassy, classy, hail

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever seen a marching band? Where?
•  Can you name these instruments?
•  Do you play an instrument?
•  Would you want to play an instrument? Which one?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why are the kids practicing? Have you ever practiced something? How long does it take until you improve?
•  Does this bok rhyme? Can you pick our some words to rhyme?
•  Would your neighbors be angry if you made a lot of noise?
•  How do you think the children felt when the mayor wanted them to represent the town in the parade?
•  Have you ever been to a parade? What do you see at a parade?
•  How do they remember the music they are playing? (Sheets of music are attached to instrument)
•  Are the people having fun listening to the band?
•  Are the children enjoying playing in the band?
•  Did the kids have to work as a team to make the band succeed? Have you ever worked in a team? (Group projects in class, sports)
•  Have you marched in any parades at your school? Did you wear a costume or uniform? What other holidays usually have a parade?

Craft ideas:
•  Decorate and roll a piece of paper into a flute or clarinet
•  Make a marching band hat. Use paper to create a cylinder that will fit around your head.
•  Make a megaphone. Decorate a piece of paper, then roll it into a cone and speak through the tip of the cone.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!