Resource 5: Pupil praise songs
Background information / subject knowledge for teacher
Gracie – A praise song
Say this poem and ask your pupils to devise a response that supports the call. Choose instrumental or voice sounds that match the words: high, rooted, calls, soars, guides and moon.
High desert dweller
Rooted in peace
Calls upon the monkey and the lion spirit
Soars with the dragonfly
Guides the pen
Line 1. Gracie (My name).
Line 2. High desert dweller (I was born and raised here in Bend, which is a high desert).
Line 3. Rooted in peace (My ancestor Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Tribe was known for his peaceful nature).
Line 4. Calls upon the monkey and the lion spirit (My totem animals are a monkey and a lion. The monkey shows my playful/childlike nature and the lion shows strength, loyalty and ferocity).
Line 5. Soars with the dragonfly (The dragonfly symbolises my imagination, love for fantasy, and also dreamland).
Line 6. Guides the pen (I love to draw and that is my passion).
Line 7. Moon drawn (At night is when I find comfort, the stars give me hope and the moon is who I can trust with my problems).
Creating a praise poem or song (pupil instructions)
- Start with your name.
- Refer to something about where or how you were born.
- Say something about your family heritage: where your family is from originally.
- Mention an object, animal, something in nature that is meaningful or special to you.
- Say something about yourself: what you are like, what you want, your dreams.
Create a poem of between five and eight lines. The poem is short, so each word is symbolic, i.e. each word has a lot of meaning, telling us many things.
Choose your words carefully. Use your instrument to enhance the feeling and meaning of your poem. Choose when and how you are going to make a sound. Think carefully about how you are going to use your voice expressively.
You can see more pupil praise songs on the following website:from which the above has been adapted. (Accessed 2008)