Teacher's Guide for Vitamin L Recordings

Some suggestions from teachers:

  • Play a Vitamin L song at morning announcements.
  • Some schools pick a song of the month or a song of the week.
  • Schools have even taken a Vitamin L song to be their special school song.
  • Within a contained elementary classroom, use the songs to aid in transitions, i.e. "By the time this song is done, I need you to... (clean up your area, put away your work, etc.)" or "While we wait to go to lunch, let's listen to Walk a Mile."
  • Play the songs as students come in from recess and need help in refocusing or any time they need to refocus.
  • Teach 2 or 3 Vitamin L songs to use in this way as they are adding new songs for new themes. Over time the songs become a mental cue to students to join in with the class community and participate in the activity at hand. Therefore the songs can be effective aids in transition times.
  • One teacher suggested that the Vitamin L songs need to be played daily or almost daily to impact the group attitude and to create a positive climate and cooperative spirit. This takes time and repetition.
  • Make the tape or CD player easily accessible (by the light switch or by the door). Maybe assign a student to turn it on at the teacher's cue.
  • In one school, the lyrics are used in the primary grades as authentic reading instruction. Teachers put the lyrics on a large chart for whole class reading and post individual lyric sheets in key areas around class for kids to read at choices time.
  • In intermediate grades 4-5-6, use the songs as support to a thematic unit. Discuss the lyrics when the songs are first taught - use the song as a discussion starter. The songs can be played over the loudspeaker between class changes in middle schools.
    Click Here to see how Hilltop Elementary in Lynnwood, Washington incorporated the Vitamin L songs into their school themes!

Lesson plans and info for Sing for Dr. King! Vitamin L Songs for a Beloved Community

Vitamin L Song Topic Categories

Songs are Color-coded by album:

WALK A MILE
EVERYONE’S INVITED!
SWINGIN’ IN THE KEY OF L
EVERY MOMENT

Conflict Resolution
Walk a Mile
Talkin' Bout a Put-Down
Everyone Can Be a Winner
The Way You Say It
Maybe We Can Do the Same

Prejudice Reduction/Tolerance Building
I Want to Get to Know You
People Are a Rainbow
Family Feeling
So Much to Share
Look a Little Deeper
My Very Own Frame
Tear Down the Walls

Team Building/Unity
Family Feeling
Teamwork
A World United

Substance Abuse Prevention
Think for Yourself
Decisions, Decisions

Communication
Talkin’ Bout a Put Down
Jumping to Conclusions

Second Hand Information
Express Yourself

The Way You Say It

Helping Others
Here’s to the Hero
A Beautiful Way
Welcome
That is a Mighty Power

With These Hands

Friendship
I Want to Get to Know You
My Special Friend
I Made a New Friend
Goodbye, Good Friend

Global Family
Family Feeling
Look a Little Deeper
A World United

All of the Vitamin L songs lend themselves to discussion and analysis. Some additional fun and effective ways to extend the use of the Vitamin L cassettes:
Student poetry, Essays, Role plays and skits, Posters, Original plays, Art projects, School productions that combine a concert of these songs with any of the above.

Thomas Lickona, a nationally recognized expert in character education and the author of Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility, highly recommends this music. He endorses it in his book and he has featured it at his Summer Institute for Character Education with a VITAMIN L concert and a workshop for teachers on how to use these songs to enliven and strengthen their curriculum. He has written, "I wish every family and classroom in America had these tapes."

"The second grade class has incorporated the Vitamin L lyrics into the reading program. The students love learning to read the lyrics as they sing the songs. The bonus is that this class started out as a difficult group with lots of social conflict but a daily dose of Vitamin L has turned their attitudes around. They're now a caring, cohesive group."
-Sheila Gossett, School counselor, Ohio

"Every song has a lesson and they're really great. You've just gotta check it out!"
-Trevor Botti, Elementary student