Magazine article Technology & Learning

Toe-Tapping Titles for Tots

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Toe-Tapping Titles for Tots

Article excerpt

Your students can rock ouut with Shari and Lamb Chop or Elvis Pigsley and his barnyard pals while exploring musical concepts in these two instructive preschool and primary-grade CD-ROMs.

With many schools facing funding cuts in their music programs, teachers are often left with extremely limited resources. The latest multimedia software featuring life-like sound, live-action video, and animation can help come to the rescue of whittled-down courses by bringing simulated instruments and a variety of musical experiences into the classroom at minimal expense.

Here, we look at two engaging CD-ROMs that introduce musical concepts and a broad selection of musical styles to young children through a range of lively interactive activities.

Barnyard Rhythm & Moos (Davidson)

The first offering in the Fisher-Price Sing-Alongs series, this playful title reinforces early language skills while inviting youngsters to explore an interactive barnyard, watch animated music videos, and sing along to a variety of renditions of both new and familiar toe-tapping tunes.

A garden, chicken coop, and similar colorful and appealing farm scenes come to life when kids click on vegetables, animals, and other objects to discover songs, whimsical animations, and sound effects. Some "hot spots" feature multiple animations for variety and additional surprises.

The sing-along section includes "The Itsy Bitsy Snider." "Baa Baa Black Sheep," and ten other songs which kids can hear in rock, lullaby, classical, and other versions. As with all the program's activities, this one does a good job of supporting young children's love of repetition by making it easy to play favorite songs again and again.

A humorous, upbeat tone characterizes this title throughout, with young testers especially attracted to the 12 creative music videos which, though not interactive, feature hilarious performances from chickens, pigs, and other farm pals. A favorite was Elvis Pigsley singing a 50s-style "Barnyard Rock."

Teachers will appreciate the early reading skill practice integrated into each component. Sight vocabulary is reinforced when children click on an object and can see the word onscreen and hear it pronounced. In the singalong activities, they can practice left-to-right tracking by following highlighted words. And animated characters enhance early comprehension by enact mg song lyrics. …

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