I started with some basic facts about Tito Puente, told the kids about the instruments and music he played, and then read the fantastic picture book biography, Tito Puente Mambo King by Monica Brown.
Unlike our previous week's hero Mozart, I could show video clips featuring Tito Puente! He appeared on Sesame Street, so I used those to introduce his music.
I had some older kids who rolled their eyes a bit (Sesame Street-that's a baby show!) but the younger kids loved it!
I was also able to show a clip of Tito Puente performing live, which the kids loved. I even had them get up and try dancing the mambo along with the video!
I then passed out some rhythm sticks and used good old Hap Palmer's Tap Your Sticks to give the kids a chance to try tapping their sticks to a rhythm and become musicians.
Then it was time for some activities:
-Nick Jr has a coloring pack of Hispanic Role Models, including Tito Puente, so we put these out for the younger kids.
-Since Tito Puente played lots of instruments, we put out drums and pianos and various things like a box, coffee canisters and rhythm sticks to play with.
-I had the kids decorate their own "drumsticks" using crayons and Popsicle sticks and encouraged them to drum on anything they could think of!
-Miss Pamela created another awesome "Did You Know" fact wall with fun facts about Tito Puente and his music.
This week we had a much smaller turnout (only about 10 kids) but they all really enjoyed it and had lots of fun. They especially loved trying their hand at drumming!