Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Dancing and Singing to Ireland

I blogged just a few days ago about several songs and activities I use for St. Patrick's day and here are a couple others!

1.  The Rakes of Mallow or "Irish Stew"

The music is from the Rhythmically Moving CD's and Kriske and DeLelles have a version of this in Book 2 of Gameplan.  The version of the dance my students use is a "mashup" of theirs along with some other moves!



Partners side by side in a circle, holding a pair of rhythm sticks.


Walk forward clockwise for 8 beats, heel, toe, tap, tap, tap ( qq n q ), heel, toe, tap, tap, tap ( qq n q ), turn and walk forward counter clockwise for 8 beats, heel, toe, tap, tap, tap ( qq n q ), heel, toe, tap, tap, tap ( qq n q ). Say, "Forward, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, heel, toe, tap, tap, tap, heel, toe, tap, tap, tap".  
Heel, toe:  One heel on the floor with toes sticking up, take the same foot and tap the toe on the floor in front of other foot. Next heel and toe use the opposite foot.  To simplify, say, "jump, jump" in place of "heel, toe".


Click sticks 4 beats (sword fight!) with partner, stir (make a stirring motion to stir your Irish Stew) 4 beats, do-si-do 8 beats repeat by turning to opposite and perform with neighbor.

2.  The Rattlin' Bog

I was introduced to this song a long time ago as a child by my favorite Maine musicians, Schooner Fare, and still LOVE it!  The version I use in the classroom is much faster, as each verse speeds up dramatically and it is beloved even by my fourth graders!  This is a good version with lyrics on the screen:


3.  Irish Washerwoman Dance

This is a fun, high energy  dance for your older kiddos and the description of the dance moves is included in the notes below the video on youtube!


  1. What do the notes in parentheses (qq n q) mean in the directions for the "Irish Stew" dance?

    1. Thanks for your comment.
      These are the letters used for most music fonts including musicsync, for quarter notes and eighth notes; q = quarter note, n = eighth notes. Let me know if you need more info.

  2. Hi Aimee,
    I absolutely love your blog.

    Two questions for you:
    1. Do you know who recorded the version of Rattlin Bog that you use in your classroom? I would love to use one similar to tie in tempo with my young ones.
    2. Have you ever recorded your students doing the Gameplan dance? My district does not use the curriculum, and while the dance sounds fun, I'm having trouble visualizing it. Thanks!

    1. The version of Rattlin' Bog is by a Maine children's group called Schooner Fare. The version I have is from their CD, this is a similar one:
      I am sorry but I cannot share videos of my students as our policy prevents it. :( Try the dance yourself a few times while speaking, "Forward, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, heel, toe, tap, tap, tap". This is the same process I use with my students; speak and move. Then once the words have been learned, they can speak them "inside their head".


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