Each rhyme and song comes with an analysis.
These resources and more are also available on MySongFile.com
Action games are organised into the following categories:
Singing games and rhymes are wonderful for preparing and practising the beat!
I TRAVELLED OVER LAND AND SEA
A fantastic song for:
• keeping beat with actions
• improvising new words and actions
OLIVER TWIST (Compound time)
• This singing game is a great way to practise beat!
• This song can be used to prepare and practise the melodic element 'la'.
• A fantastic song for preparing 6/8 time.
Children will be having so much fun moving and playing games that they won’t even realise they are internalising the feel of compound time!
HICKORY DICKORY DOCK
• A great song for students to experience beat in a 6/8 time signature.
• Actions can be improvised to fit the words.
• After ‘the clock struck one’, during the pause, students can sing a sound like a clock striking. The song can be repeated replacing ‘one’ with other numbers up to twelve.
JOHNNY WORKS WITH ONE HAMMER (2/4)
• Young children love the way the actions accumulate throughout the song. It ends up being a very active song!
• As all the actions are done on the beat, this song is great for reinforcing beat!
• Great for preparing 're', if you just use the last line it can be used to Make Conscious 're'.
• Can also use to Prepare and Practise 'za'.
JOHNNY WORKS WITH ONE HAMMER (6/8) Bonus version!
This energetic song is great for:
• preparing 6/8 time.
• preparing and practising the melodic element 're'.
• practising (and/or assessing) beat!
Great for working with fine motor skills!
FIVE LITTLE ALLIGATORS
• This song can be used with young students to practise counting backwards.
• This song can be used to have students ‘crawl away’ to line up at the door at the end of a lesson.
• You can substitute the names of other animals that children might be studying in class (making this a useful improvisation game).
LITTLE ARABELLA MILLER
• Can do simple finger actions with this funny song - great for fine motor practise.
• To the tune of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’.
TWO LITTLE DICKY BIRDS (Provided in C Major and G Major)
• A fantastic song for teaching the melodic element 're'.
• A great song for teaching the rhythmic element 'sa'.
• Children enjoy joining in with the simple finger actions.
• Try substituting the name of different types of birds or different names for an early improvisation activity.
Nothing like a bit of exercise in the classroom!
ONE MAN WENT TO MOW
Accumulate words and actions in this funny song!
Also useful for:
• Introducing mixed metre.
• Teaching the rhythmic element 'tim-ka'.
• The rhythmic element 'tie'.
• Teaching the melodic element 'fa'.
• Singing with boys whose voices are breaking. (This song has a range of only a fifth, making it easier to sing.)
• Have fun getting active on the beat with this energetic song!
• Improvise your own actions to suit the words.
• You might like to make up new words and actions.
An engaging first song can encourage participation from the moment the lesson begins.
SAY ‘HELLO’ TO YOU
• An energetic hello or goodbye song to the tune, 'Pick a Bale of Cotton'.
• This song can be used to prepare and practise the melodic element 'fa'.
• This song is also useful for teaching the rhythmic element 'sa' (crotchet rest, 1/4 note rest).
Great preparation for rhythmic and melodic improvisation as students gain confidence.
GET INTO THE GAME
This song is great for a wide range of ages!
For younger students this song can be used to:
• Improvise new actions and words.
• Prepare 3/4 time.
For older students this song can be used to:
• Teach the melodic element 'fa' (the first half of the song).
• Teach the melodic element 'ta' (flattened ti).
• Practise anacrusis in 3/4 time.
• Practise the rhythmic element 'tum ti' in 3/4 time.
• Improvise 2 beats of rhythm each time there are 2 beats of rest.
Develop an ear for language, rhyme and rhythm.
I’M A LITTLE TEAPOT
• This is a great action song for practising gross motor skills.
• A useful song for preparing and practising the rhythmic element ‘sa’.
Great for all students, particularly useful for engaging students who are self-conscious about singing!
• Children can do actions as they say the rhyme ‘Fishy Fishy In The Brook’.
• The only rhythms used are ‘ta’ and ‘ti-ti’ making this a useful rhyme for teaching these elements.
ROUND AND ROUND THE GARDEN (Compound Time)
• A useful rhyme for preparing or practising compound time.
Songs to engage our pre-teens!
DUDE RANCH COWBOY
• Students love this funny canon - particularly when they can sing 'whoops' at the end of line 2 and 3!
• The 'whoops' can be used to help older students find their singing voice.
• This song can be used to prepare and practise the rhythmic element tim-ka.
• Also useful for preparing and practising the melodic element 'ti' and practising 'fa'.
This catchy, happy song from Liberia is great for:
• Greeting students.
• A quick action activity.
• Working with the rhythmic element 'syncopa'.
• Teaching 'high do'.
• Singing in 4 part canon!
(An original song – only found in my store on TPT and on MySongFile.com)
• This song describes what these massive dinosaurs looked like and what they did.
• If you sing this song ‘heavily’, enabling students to feel a strong ‘plodding’ beat, this becomes a great song for practising beat with younger students.
GHOSTS ARE FLYING THROUGH THE NIGHT
(An original song – only found in my store on TPT on MySongFile.com)
• Children will love this fun guessing game as they take turns being the 'Ghost Buster' and the ghosts.
• This song works well for Halloween.
• A great song for practising the rhythmic elements 'ta' and 'ti-ti'.
• This song is in a minor tonality.
HEADS AND SHOULDERS KNEES AND TOES
This active song is great for:
• Using some energy!
• Singing with musical opposites! (Loud and soft; fast and slow).
• Body co-ordination.
• Practising the rhythmic elements 'ta' and 'ti-ti'.
• Improvising and Memory work - have students improvise new body parts to sing about - and remember all the different verses!
HEADS SHOULDERS KNEES AND TOES (Bonus song!)
This fun, boppy song is great for:
• Getting active!
• Teaching the rhythmic element 'too' (minim/half note).
• Teaching the melodic element 'fi'.
• Teaching tempi terms - hold up flash cards with tempi terms (e.g. adagio, allegro, moderato etc.) and have students sing the song with actions at the designated speed!
• Singing major arpeggio (d-m-s-d').
• Practising octave leaps (d'-d).
SIX LITTLE DUCKS
• Children love waddling like a duck while singing this song. A great way to use up some energy!
More action singing games are available in my ‘20 Action Singing Games for Teaching with the Kodály Method Collections 1 and 3’.
These resources and more are also available on MySongFile.com