Thursday, February 19, 2015

Abiyoyo- A Music, Drama, and Art Lesson in One!

If you're like me, you want to do it all, and you want to do it all in a 60 minute period and give every piece of the lesson everything you've got! Well, this post will give you an example of a lesson where I was able to do just that!

For my lesson using the book Abiyoyo, I was able to incorporate:
  • Literacy
  • Music
  • Dramatic interpretation
  • Art project
  • Black History Month
As an added bonus, I was even able to get in 5 minutes of practice for the All School Show song for 1st and 2nd grade classes after teaching the Abiyoyo lesson! Our show is March 26th, so we have to practice every class period!

Abiyoyo is a story about a boy and his father who annoy the townspeople- the father with his magic tricks and the boy with his ukelele, so they are ostracized (the book even defines this term in the story!) to the outside of town. The boy's father always told him the story of Abiyoyo, a terrible monster who comes to terrorize the town. Inevitably, Abiyoyo comes one morning and the man and his son are closest to him so they set off to make him disappear! The boy sings the song about Abiyoyo while playing the ukelele and Abiyoyo dances and dances until he falls over. The boy's father is now able to make him disappear and the townspeople rejoice!

While I read this story to the students, I showed them the pictures up until the actual monster, Abiyoyo, appears, then I turned the book away. This way, they had to imagine what this terrible monster looked like (this comes back later in the lesson)! I also teach them the song, so that they can sing along when it comes up.

After reading it through one time, I assigned some students to be actors (boy, boy's father, Abiyoyo, and townspeople) and some students to play instruments for the sound effects in the book (ukelele, father's magic, eating sheep and cow, saw). This pandered to everyone's needs while hearing the story a second time- some students really love to play instruments and some really want to be actors and wear costumes- it just works out well! You could even choose a good reader to be the narrator if you wanted (gives you time to observe and take pictures!) I chose two kids to be Abiyoyo together and gave them a couple minutes to come up with a "dance" to do while the boy sings the song- they took this totally in stride and it was great when the dancing part came up!

The instruments I used were:
  • ukelele- kalimba
  • Zoop!- maracas/guiros
  • Eating animals- hand drum
  • Saw- ratchet

The boy's father (with his wand) and the boy

After we act out/play instruments with the story, it's time to move on to the art portion of the lesson. I should point out that this could easily be a 3-lesson progression, I am just able to get it into one because I have long class periods. The art portion was easy to execute and tons of fun for the kids! Here's what you need:
  • Gluesticks
  • A bunch of multicolored paper ripped into small pieces (took me about 20 minutes to do this one morning and I have had enough for 3-4 classes so far)
  • Half-sheets of white construction paper or card stock for a background
We talk about the monster and what we think it needs according to the book's description (body, arms, legs, head, teeth, claws, hair) and then each kid receives paper, glue, and a handful of colored paper (I tell them it doesn't matter what colors they have, everyone is going to have an assortment and they can share). I give them between 15-20 minutes to do this. 

It's a very low-stress project it is really great to see the different monsters that the kids come up with! Below are some examples of mine:

This was a great second installment of Black History Month lessons for 1st/2nd grade and the kids have had so much fun! Please feel free to steal the idea if you're interested and let me know if it is as fun and successful in your classroom!
~Ms. Patrician


  1. I love this lesson! What a neat idea to have the students create the monsters! Sometimes kids struggle in music but this project gives everyone a chance to shine! I also like the instruments you used because they fit the culture and weren't the normal rhythm sticks or egg shakers! I will definitely be sharing this with my friends!

    1. Thanks! Glad you like it! My kids really loved this project- I am definitely using it again this school year! Let me know how it goes if you do it!

  2. This is fantastic! I am thinking about ways I could do this as a special lesson activity next year with my art teacher colleague- so much depth to this lesson. Thanks so much for sharing. #fermatafridays