Thursday, March 28, 2019

Australian Ballyhoo

I posted a few weeks ago about Carnival of the Animals and a HUGE 23 page pdf you can get for free with many activities to correspond with various pieces from Camille Saint-Saens famous collection.
I realized when writing the activities that I wanted a song about Kangaroos and even reached out to some friends in Australia and New Zealand and found a couple songs but these were more commercially available (chord changes, lots of words, etc.) and not "elemental".  They were ones that were cute but lacked content which is a bit of a pet peeve with me as I strive toward content over cuteness.  I was looking for songs to reinforce various concepts used with first and second graders, which is where most music teachers "place" Carnival of the Animals. So... you know me; I had to write one.
Image result for image kangaroo

First, let's discuss one of my favorite words, "ballyhoo".
Miriam Webster definition:

I use the third one in talking with kids about "ballyhoo". 
In the song below, you will notice * next to some words. Have children brainstorm a list of animals from Australia. Sing the song again, this time replacing the * animal names with some of the ones from the brainstormed list.

You can certainly add so much to this song! We played it as a game, everyone standing in a circle, one player on the outside of the circle. This outside player is the kangaroo and has to jump (both feet together) around the outside of the circle. On "kookaburra", "wombat" and "wallaby", this player tags three other players and they jump together around the circle. Begin again, this time the "kangaroo" will not choose any players but the 3 who just joined (kookaburra, wombat, and wallaby) will each choose 3 new players to join, etc.  Pretty soon everyone is jumping around the room and you will have a tired bunch of kiddos ready for a quieter activity.
You are welcome. :)


Friday, March 22, 2019

Wide Mouthed Frog - Two Ways

I have blogged about this lesson before as I LOVE this book and activity and it is perfect for spring when we start to hear and see more peepers out and about! For those who have seen it before, HOLD ON because this post has some new things!
Happy Spring! Here in the South, we have green grass, budding trees, and daffodils are swaying in the wind!  
This time of year always reminds me of frogs, for some reason, and so I break out all my frog songs in addition to flowers, rain, chicks and bunnies.
For those of you with snow still, spring IS coming!!!
You are going to need this book, get the popup version- a MUST have!

A frog puppet is another perfect accessory but not "needed" for the activity. :)
Folkmanis Funny Frog Hand Puppet
As always, if you want the full pdf of both lessons, send me an email request at
Happy Spring!

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Friday, March 8, 2019

Carnival of the Animals

I have loved this collection of songs for a very long time, but have always struggled to find ways to  meaningfully engage my students in active, hands-on activities.  Over the past several school years I have spent some time and been more intentional in finding and developing some lessons that truly engage my students and help them to remember the wonderfully fun pieces of music. 
If you would like the full 23 page pdf, send me an email -
Happy listening!