We are off and running in my classroom. I just started working on our new “Music of the Month” with my students. For the month of August/September we will be focusing on folk songs. This works out well because many of the songs that I use for review in my classroom are folk songs.
We are starting our Folk Song collection with Shoo Fly. I love this song and it is so easy to teach to students. If you haven’t heard this song before here is some sheet music to get you started:
I start off by singing the song and seeing if any students have heard it before. Then we discuss how folk songs get passed down through generations and that their parents or grand-parents might even know this song.
To learn the song we do a basic echo by rote for the first half. I add a “swat” motion on the words shoo fly and then point to myself when we sing “for I belong to somebody”. After students have mastered the beginning through echo, we put it all together and add SCARVES! Instead of swatting the fly with their hand they can use scarves for a more dramatic effect. This is also a great opportunity to discuss levels with students. Flies don’t tend to buzz in just one spot so they have to change their levels to try and swat the fly.
Either the next class, or later on, we will learn the 2nd half of the song; again through echo by rote. The movement I use for the 2nd half adds a partner to the mix. Students will do an elbow swing turn to the right with their partner for 8 beats, and then to the left for 8 beats. Then the song starts over. Sometimes I like to add a little extra part right after the B section. I will add an “OOhh” with a fermata hold before going back and singing shoo fly again. For this part I let the partners try and switch scarves. They toss their scarves at each other trying to catch the other one.
This is a super fun and easy song and movement to do in your class that works with many grade levels. I am using it in all my classes 1st-4th! Have a great week!