We recently had a spring-like day, which had me looking forward to fresh air, sunshine, and the re-opening of local hotdog stands (I know my priorities). It also had me thinking about the spring concert season. For one reason or another, Skip to My Lou always made it into my programs and info-concerts. So, I thought I would share my simple lesson ideas, along with a few freebies. Skipping around to a song probably won't make spring come any faster, but at least it will help to beat that cabin fever!
As students listen to the song for the first time, have them pat the steady beat during the verse and then skip around the room during the refrain. Ask them to join in singing the refrain as they grow more comfortable.
Have students stand in a circle, choosing one student to be in the middle. On the refrain, the student in the middle chooses a partner to skip around the circle with them. On the next verse, the student who was chosen then goes to the middle, and so on.
The verses of this song are ripe with potential for improvisation. Ask students to improvise new verses. You may need to model it first, especially if your students are still growing comfortable with the idea of improvisation. For example, you could point to an object in the room and sing, "My classroom desk is made of wood..." This gives students a framework for their improvisation and might make shyer students more comfortable giving it a try.
After students have sang and moved to the song, ask them to dictate the rhythm of the refrain. If your students need a challenge, ask them to dictate the rhythm of the verses they choose. Download and print the freebie below to use in your own classroom.
This song is a great example of AB form, particularly for students who are just learning about musical structure. Use movement such as clapping and skipping to differentiate the A and B sections. Once students feel the difference of each section in their voices and bodies, they will be better able to identify them as same or different. Students learn about patterns in their other core classes as well, so once they've identified the two main components of the song (whether they label it verse/refrain or A/B), it will be easy for them to see the pattern in the musical form just as they do in their other classes.
Download and print the lesson ideas below for easy reference. If you choose to use some of my ideas in your classroom, please share your experiences in the comments section below!