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Why is this child stomping his feet? He’s doing the actions to “This is an Angry Song”. It’s a popular early years song in England. When I first heard it from my 3-year-old grandson, I was impressed by the way this simple song could:
- explain angry feelings,
- enable a child to express their anger with words and actions, and
- help other children understand the feelings a friend is experiencing.
Isn’t that great? I could imagine using this song to support social-emotional learning in a multilingual group of young children. Sure, this song has effective elements like:
- useful vocabulary words
- engaging, authentic actions
- repetition and a catchy tune
BUT that doesn’t mean it will work for all children. Do they actually understand the words? Are the expressions and actions meaningful in their cultural context? Here are some tips for adapting songs like this for your group:
- Translate the words into the home languages of the children.
- Invite the children’s families to help with the translations so the words and phrases are appropriate for use with young children.
- Discuss with families, colleagues, and children about how to change or add actions to the song that make sense to the children in your group.
- Add a verse with strategies you may have already taught.
For example – the original song is in English but American children are less likely to use the word “cross” than British children. Consider changing that word for English-speaking children in the US, then talking to families about what words their child uses to express anger in their home language – rather than just getting an online translation that might not be right for little ones.
Songs with actions are fantastic teaching tools for young children and we want to make sure they support all children by reaching each child!
Hear the song at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfGbqveblkg&list=UURTx27paH8KqeGvw633QMsA&index=1
“This is an angry song. This is a cross song.
I saw someone stamp their feet (stamp stamp stamp). Oh dear, what an angry song. …
I saw someone pull a face (nyah nyah nyah) …
I saw someone shout out loud (It’s no fair!) …
I saw someone cry and cry (boo hoo hoo).
Oh dear, what an angry song!”
(I haven’t been able to find who wrote this song. If you know, please reply!)