Finger plays and songs can be a musical springboard for improvisational storytelling. I call it story-weaving—creating a musical framework to imagine a story with the whole group or combining individual stories by each child.
CLIMBING UP THE APPLE TREE—poem by Ruth Dowell, melody by Barb Tilsen (on the recording “Take the Seed” by Barb Tilsen)
Climbing up the apple tree
Swaying on a limb
If I hear a robin
I may sing along with him
Tra la la
Robin if you fly away
Here’s what I think I’ll do
I’ll wish a pair of sparrow wings
And fly away with you
Once upon a time Robin and I flew far away…What happens next?
I use a group process to improvise and create stories with young children with a question “What happens next?” or “What did that feel like?” or “What did you see?” Our story might take turns with each child’s answer advancing the story or we might do collective group brainstorming to create the story together. You can also teach this song and have the children do their own drawings to create their own stories.