So I'm going to cheat a little bit here and talk about a puppet that isn't one of my own creations - but it's so cute that I can't help but rave about it!
Sammy Snail is a puppet by Folkmanis (you can check out their website here) who is absolutely beautiful!
I just bought him the other day, but already I have big plans for how to use him in my classroom.
There are a number of snail songs in the lower primary repertoire that Sammy can be incorporated into, but one idea that I love (kudos to Lindsay Jervis over at the Kodaly Corner for that one) is using Sammy Snail to develop inner hearing.
Sammy Snail can either come all the way out of his shell or, if he is feeling shy, can retreat inside it. This can be a great and simple tool to show when you would like the children to use their singing voice and when you'd like them to use their thinking voice - whenever Sammy is out, he wants to hear you, when he's in his shell, you must use your thinking voice.
One of my favourite songs for preparing La is the song "Snail, Snail". There are a number of ways you can use this song
- have the students hold hands and lead them around into a spiral and then back out.
- Have the students sit in a circle all facing clockwise and draw a snail shell on the back of the person in front of them (can be either very calming or very ticklish!)
- Use Sammy Snail as a beat-passing device where students have to pass clockwise, except for the "new note" (la) when they can pass across the circle to whomever they wish.