A Summer Memory: A Story for Very Young Learners
Andreyana Tsoneva is the author and illustrator of three books for children and the author of the story and illustrations and co-author of the song in this article. She writes stories and poems both for children and adults. She presents at kindergartens, libraries and bookstores. She graduated Pre-School Pedagogy and Foreign Language at Dobrich College, Shumen University and continues her education in psychology.
Alexander Baychev is the singer and co-author of the song provided for the purpose of this study. He teaches pop-jazz singing at New Bulgarian University in Sofia.
Sofiya Yordanova provided the animation for the videoclip. She also graduated Primary School Pedagogy and Information Technology at Dobrich College, Shumen University and works as a Kindergarten teacher.
Tsanimir Baychev made the arrangement, recorded the song and edited the videoclip. He works as an associate professor at Dobrich College, Shumen University.
We offer a story, a song, an animated video and a number of activities including singing, playing a triangle, dancing, clapping and counting, drawing and/or colouring. The text and the activities ensure cross-curricular links to other subjects: Literature, Music, PE (physical education through dancing), Mathematics (counting), Arts and Crafts, Natural science (natural phenomena: clouds, rain, sun; animals). “For centuries, the connection between music and fine arts has excited millions of people around the world. These arts form the artistic and aesthetic culture of man, stimulate his creative development and imagination” (Baychev, Gocheva 2019). Ilieva and Iliev (2017) find “cross-curricular teaching very important with young and very young learners since at this age we work towards the holistic development of the child.“ They (Ilieva, Iliev 2019) claim that “Integrating and other subjects gives rich context for introducing and practising phrases.“ Ellis and Brewster (2014) view stories as a means of cross-curricular links, learning to learn and conceptual development, teaching citizenship, diversity and multicultural education. As Wright (2019) says “In the language classroom, stories offer a living context for language! Stories offer a mine of content which can set teachers and students off on all kinds of 'project' journeys.“ Suitable context and content are extremely important in teaching very young learners. They give food for various cross-curricular activities that attract and keep very young learners‘ attention. Bykova (2019) also discusses provoking creativity and “using a combination of math and literacy, dramatic play, storytelling, creative reading, arts and crafts, and science as well“ with young learners.
A summer memory: A story by Andreyana Tsoneva
It was summer. It was a warm sunny day. The sky was light blue, tender and fine like silk. Fluffy little white clouds were floating in it. They had beautiful lace collars. In the air there was a scent of freshly mown grass and a savour of raspberries. The raspberries were probably overripe because of the very hot sun. They were praying for rain: they needed to be watered and it started raining. There were large rain drops. The sun was shining on them and they sparkled as golden bubbles. I suddenly saw a beautiful girl walking in the park. She was wearing a green dress. She didn‘t have an umbrella. Apparently she wasn‘t afraid of the rain. She didn‘t even think she might get wet. (Dear children, don‘t do like her! NEVER!). She was stepping softly. She was tiptoeing: like a ballerina, stretching her hands as if gathering the golden drop bubbles. She probably wanted to give them as a present to her mum.
She was dancing on her own, smiling, kind, and I thought she was a fairy. I don‘t know if she was real, but she looked like a fairy from the fairytales. I was watching her and enjoying the sight.