Friday, November 2, 2012

Can't Dance Josey


This is just one of my favorite songs to do with 3rd grade for tika-tika (4 beamed 16th notes) as well as in 4th grade for low so.

I have two games with this song- one is text improv, where students think of a silly excuse not to have to dance with someone- NO EXCUSES about physical appearance are allowed.  Things just as silly as Chicken on a Fence post.  Examples may be: The barn was painted orange, the sky is blue, hogs in the cornfield, etc.   This one we play the 2nd week the song is known.

The other game is a concentric circle game, played after the song is known well.  Inside both circles is a rubber chicken (or other object race to). I send two students to opposite corners of the room to hide their eyes.  I then choose two secret bridges by swinging the arms of 2 connected students in the inside and 2 on the outside. The students in the circles walk the beat (inside left, outside right) as we sing the song.  When I hit a drum, the students in the circles freeze, bridges arms go up and the students who had been hiding their eyes race to get to the chicken first.  They can only get to the middle by going under the previously chosen bridges.   This is a super fun game that the kids LOVE.  They are always excited in fourth grade when it comes back.

ALSO: Just for fun, read the solfa below and see if you can figure out what pop song it is!

d d r m s s
 l l l s m d
 l l l s m d r r
d d r m s s
 l l l  s m d
l, l, f m r d t,


  1. Ohh is it "Some Nights?"
    Also, I'm going to need to get a rubber chicken!

    1. Yes it is "Some Nights!" It's hard to figure it out with no rhythm, but the kids love these "popsong" challenges.

    2. Sounds like a really great game! But what are the rules for the winner and loser? Does the winner get to repeat the game until he loses? Does the loser rejoin one of the circles, and someone else is chosen in his place? How do you choose the two players--do you pick two names randomly from slips of paper? Sorry about all the questions; it's just that these little things are so important for making sure the game runs smoothly--otherwise, I'm almost sure to get complaints about fairness, not getting turns, etc.!

    3. I say that the winner gets to play UP TO 3 times (or until they loose). The looser then gets to pick the next opponent for the winner AND the secret bridges before rejoining the game. The first time we play I choose randomly and then I keep track in my gradebook of who has gotten a chance already and who has not. Eventually all get a turn. I just started this system last year (someone else did it at a conference I went to) where the loser chooses the next player and it seems to work really well. I have also known some teachers who have the loser play an ostinato on an instrument during the game as well to give them something else special to do. Hope this helps!