Morpho Literacy

Bilingual Literacy-Based Programming with Amy Olson

Article about Bilingual BoogieBeats February 8, 2012

Filed under: Bilingual Programming for Children — Morpho Literacy @ 7:38 pm

Bilingual storyteller enhances preschool’s sing time

Author: Tammy Lane • First Posted: Thursday, February 02, 2012

Music, motions and movement intrigue children in Jennifer Nagle’s Early Start classes and even more so now that they sing in both English and Spanish.

Thanks to a mini grant from the Blue Grass Community Foundation, a bilingual storyteller expands the preschoolers’ sing time with myriad rhythms and rhymes, patterns and lyrics.

“It’s a fun way for them to develop language and their literacy skills,” said visiting artist Amy Olson, who leads “Bilingual BoogieBeats” at James Lane Allen Elementary.

From “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” to “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”, she holds the kids’ attention throughout each half-hour session. Her approach weaves in grammar lessons, counting, fresh vocabulary and elements of story sequence using familiar tunes and new songs they quickly memorize.

“It’s all tied in,” said Olson, who brings along a bag of soft puppets, illustrated pop-up books and simple shaker instruments. “I try to do it through an imaginative way so they’re enjoying it.”

Nagle was among 16 teachers in Fayette County Public Schools to receive mini grants this year. Her proposal grew out of a desire for students to develop basic music skills as well as bond with each other since her two classes include preschoolers with disabilities and Hispanic children just learning English.

“I’ve picked up some songs I love that I’ve incorporated into daily story times,” Nagle said. “If I can sing some songs in Spanish, it makes them feel better and feel more comfortable here.”

Olson, who will visit every other week for a while and then weekly in May, agreed that “Bilingual BoogieBeats” can bridge gaps among diverse students.

“They’re able to explore the social aspect of being in the classroom together. It makes them stretch their boundaries as well,” she said. “Kids pick things up very early. The earlier they hear something different than what they’re comfortable with, the more comfortable they are and the more excited. It’s a good way to expose kids to other cultures and other experiences.”

Nagle thinks the musical story time will also help her youngsters learn to focus and pay close attention to instruction.

“Especially at this age, they love music and songs that involve finger play and anything that keeps them active and moving. When their body’s moving, they really think about it and remember it better,” she said.

“You never know what’s going to appeal to certain children,” Nagle added. “Some love to sit down and read; others love the music. I just try to give them as many experiences as I can.”


Bilingual BoogieBeats / BoogieBeats bilingüe January 6, 2011

Filed under: Bilingual Programming for Children — Morpho Literacy @ 2:57 pm

Wiggle like a penguin, drive a fire truck, ride a horse named Joe……Children will use their imagination, dance and play rhythmic instruments while singing songs in English and Spanish.  BoogieBeats has been featured in the KET Art to Heart Program, The Herald Leader, and La Voz.   This is appropriate for children ages 0-4 and Head Start/Early Start programs and works best when parents and/or caregivers are able to attend and participate as well.



Musical Bilingual Storytime / Tiempo de cuentos con música (bilingüe) January 5, 2011

Filed under: Bilingual Programming for Children — Morpho Literacy @ 10:29 am

Storytimes are taken to a new level….incorporating music with the physical storybook.  These tales and music are performed bilingually; kids will really enjoy this multicultural experience.  If you have specific books you would like to have incorporated into this program that, too, is possible.  This program may be adjusted for any age group and can accommodate larger groups as well. (more…)


Papel Picados January 4, 2011

Filed under: Bilingual Programming for Children,Bilingual Programming for Teens — Morpho Literacy @ 9:41 am

A decorative project made from tissue paper and string, similar to winter snowflakes, alebrijes are made throughout the Latin America (and many other non-Latino countries as well).  Appropriate for all ages.


Tissue Paper and Duct Tape Flowers / Flores de papel y de duct tape January 3, 2011

Filed under: Bilingual Programming for Children,Bilingual Programming for Teens — Morpho Literacy @ 9:39 am

Bright, colorful flowers can be made out of tissue paper and/or duct tape.  Appropriate for all ages.  Teens, especially, like the duct tape flowers.


Alebrijes January 2, 2011

Filed under: Bilingual Programming for Children,Bilingual Programming for Teens — Morpho Literacy @ 9:25 am

Carve, construct, and paint brightly colored, fantastical 3-D animal creatures out of rigid Foamular insulation and celebrate Mexican (Oaxacan) culture.  This, minimally, is a two-session program.   Appropriate for all ages.



Word Mural / Pared de palabras January 1, 2011

Filed under: Bilingual Programming for Children,Bilingual Programming for Teens — Morpho Literacy @ 9:15 am

Words are made up of more than just letters—they make you feel and see things in different ways.  Using large canvases, paint, and creative brainpower, art and words merge together to create feeling.   This bilingual program was featured in the Herald Leader and La Voz, August, 2007.    Ideal for older elementary, middle school, and high school students.