Monday, September 29, 2014

The Singing Goat Saga

Two weeks ago, I stumbled upon a great find! Our district participates in Books Are Fun, a company that brings books, gifts, toys, etc. to teachers at a discounted price. They post up their monthly items in our lounge for a week and then they're delivered. Normally, I don't find much I like, but this month, it was meant for me! 

Enter, this "Cuddly Crooner" puppet! 
Apparently, there are a few different varieties out there, but this one is a singing goat from The Sound of Music. He actually sings a part of "The Lonely Goatherd" as you move the mouth - so cute! I was in love!

Now, for the chaos that ensued afterwards:
  • I waited over a week for the delivery man, as he apparently didn't want to be on time this month or communicate that with everyone. 
  • It didn't even work! 
  • When trying to open the battery compartment, it was sealed with a bolt - a bolt, in plastic!
  • Our lovely custodian, Keith, pried it open after several attempts with various tools (thanks Keith, you rock!)
  • We replaced the batteries; it still didn't work
  • I taped the battery compartment back together with new batteries; still no success
  • Finally, I ripped the seam of his mouth open to find the connection wires
  • SUCCESS! The plates weren't colliding right, so I realigned them and he sings!

So, his mouth is still unstitched. However, my mom has assured me he can be fixed right up. Also, the company is sending me another one for all of the trouble. Our representative still hasn't contacted me about the whole situation.
Finally, after a lot of trouble, time, and energy, we have a working, singing goat! I can't wait to share this with my primary students.

Why, though, am I so excited about just one singing puppet? Aren't there a hundred others out there which don't require as much work?

The answer is yes, but, I have an additional resource I've been wanting to use for a long time now. My husband found this adorable pop-up book from Half Price Books a few years ago:

It even includes the songs in the corners, with moving pieces and pull outs! Even my 5th graders have spotted it in my collection before and been excited for it. Now, I can use it with my puppet, as well as show some clips from the musical. Eeek! I can't wait to pull this out in the spring for my primary students. Here are some more pictures:

It doesn't touch on why the Von Trapps left Austria, but for younger learners, I think it's fine to not dig into the history too much yet. Plus, my goal with this set is to capture the students interests and lead them into the world of musicals. 

I'll leave you with another darling picture of my puppet - isn't he precious?

How do you introduce musicals?  I'd love more ideas and resources to teach them, as well as any new ideas for "The Sound of Music!" Please, chime in :)


  1. I also bought this puppet for my elementary music classroom, and we named him "Yoda" the Yodeling goat. The timing was perfect, because I had just just taught he "Alpine Song" ("Oh, an Austrian went yodeling...") and paired it with some very short video clips of a live Yodeler when this little guy showed up in my staff lounge!

    1. Awesome! I have never heard of that song, but I'm definitely going to look into it. A live yodeling video is a great idea too. Thanks so much for sharing!