Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Favorite new S-M Folk Song- Ducks and Geese

After six years of teaching I found myself this year looking for fun, new-to-me, s-m folk songs.  I still love those that I have used in the past, but I wanted to freshen things up a bit. 

One great one I found in An American Methodology is called "Ducks and Geese (Come Home, All My Ducks and Geese)" and can be found on page 317. 

This is a call and response Hungarian Folk Song and is also featured in Folk Songs and Singing Games for Kids of All Ages.  Bought Me A Cat. Vol 2 by Jill Trinka- Pg 7.  See my post on these great resources here!

Here are the words again, since the picture is kind of hard to read

Solo:                                                          Class:
Come home all my ducks and geese.        No We Won't!                         

Why Not?                                                  'Cause Not!                              

What's Wrong?                                          It's the Wolf.

Where's he hiding?                                    In the woods.

Doing What?                                             Washing.

Where's he washing?                                 By the little river

What's he dry his hands on?                      On a kitty cats tail!

I love this song because some of the phrases are slightly unexpected by way of melody.  There are some phrases that are the typical s-m-s-m pattern, but a few are all so's except the last note (example: Where's he hiding?  is s-s-s-m  or By the little river is s-s-s-s-s-m).  We need to make sure as teachers that students are exposed so song literature with a variety of melodic patterns using the same notes (especially s-m!) and this song can help- and the game is super fun too (game directions are below)! 

*Song Note: Because the last line is a descending scale, students "dry their hands" rather than do handsigns on this line. 

In class, we have sorted the phrases of the class part- sometimes using stick notation, sometimes staff. All the phrases are on flashcards stuck to the board and the kiddos have to put them in the right order. This really gets them thinking melodically and because a few of the phrases are the same it makes it a little easier, which is great because this is usually one of the first times we have done this type of activity.  It is a great prep for later years when all the phrases are different AND I throw a red-herring card in the mix :)   I have also had students write out phrases on their lap staff using mini rubber ducks- so fun! Since each phrase is so short, most students are very successful. 

These are the duckies I use- Click the link above to get your own!

For the game, have students line up against one wall (They are the ducks and geese).  Choose one student to be the wolf and stand in the middle of the room.  The teacher is the "Old lady" or "old man" calling to the ducks and geese (you can also have students do this- great for solo singing).  At the end of the song, the Old Lady says "Come Home!" and the ducks and geese run across the room to try and get to the chicken coop without getting caught by the wolf.  If students are tagged by the wolf they freeze and all students can count who was tagged at the end.  Sometimes I have those tagged be wolves for the next round, sometimes I have them play an instrument along with the song.

*Game Note: I have found that if the "old lady" doesn't give a cue to run across the room, it is total chaos.  Students run before the song is over, etc.  Sometimes I even like to change it up so they really have to listen.  I'll say "Come Hippo" or something similar, and students know if they accidentally run before the cue, or on the wrong cue, they are out.

My students request this song all the time.  I am so glad I found it!  What are your favorite songs to teach s-m?  Sound off in the comments below!

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