Songwriting with Tim Griffin

Last month we had a special Kids’ Writing Workshop all about writing songs, with guest Tim Griffin of GriffinEd! Tim was a classroom teacher for many years and he created the nonprofit GriffinEd and wrote all of the songs featured there, to give teachers a gift of music to help kids learn complex STEAM concepts. His website is a great resource full of educational songs (think Schoolhouse Rock!) that you can download and use in school or at home!

Here at the library, he had the kids writing a song about something STEAM-related. They wrote about trees–how trees take carbon dioxide from the air and breathe out oxygen; how they need water and nutrients from the soil; how they have different parts, like roots, leaves, branches and trunks. First they did lots of brainstorming and Tim helped them to come up with some rhyming lines that would convey information about trees. Then they did some writing of their own and sang their songs–and they had lots of different styles! Some kids had a more pop style, others more of a hip hop style. They all demonstrated what they know about plant biology while they were learning about crafting rhyming verse.

Here are some of our videos from the class:

Thank you so much Tim for a wonderful class!

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian working in the Children's Room at the Pasadena Central Library. I purchase juvenile nonfiction books for all sites, juvenile Spanish books for all sites, and juvenile DVDs for the Central Library. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including Lucha Libros, writing workshops, and STEAM/science programs. I also do 16 weeks of Infant/Toddler Storytimes each year. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book on creative writing activities for kids.

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