Pure Imagination

Remember the song “Pure Imagination” from the 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?  The other day my husband and I heard it on a TV commercial.  I’m not even sure what the segment was advertising, but I do remember the strange happiness that I felt as I listened.  My husband agreed.  The song just made us smile.

From soothing screaming babies to bringing a crowd to their feet, songs can evoke every emotion.  Why not use this powerful medium in the classroom?

Writer’s Workshop Idea:

Sometimes I would ask my students to take out their writer’s notebooks and write while I played various music.  I used movie soundtracks like Batman, Mission Impossible and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-the Johnny Depp 2005 version.  (Thank you, Danny Elfman!)  I played classical, jazz, and some of their own popular favorites.  I even saved some music for special occasions.  They loved A Charlie Brown Christmas during the holidays and the  Chieftains around St. Patrick’s Day!

It was interesting to see what types of stories were written according to the mood of the song.  Though I only used background music occasionally (some kids find it distracting), it sparked their imaginations and many wonderful story ideas emerged.

By the way, I’m a HUGE Johnny Depp fan, but found it difficult to turn my back on the Willy Wonka I’ve always loved.  Besides, how can you resist Gene Wilder in purple velvet?

How about you?  Which one’s your favorite?



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