Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Shoo Fly Lesson Plan

"Shoo Fly" is one of my favorite songs to teach.  The students love it!  I typically use it with 2nd or 3rd grade to add some nice "orff-estration" and movement while teaching about Rondo form and partner songs. With enough practice with the  rondo format, movement, and instrumentation, this becomes a cute song to use in a program.

However, the pitch-content is more appropriate for 5th graders and they love this song as well.   Teaching this song could be part of the lesson, then you could use the cards Shoo Fly Treble Clef Practice as another part.  Advanced recorder players can play right along while the group sings.

Download the free Shoo Fly PowerPoint and tell me what you think!

Here is the lyrics slide.  2nd graders love to say - "These words repeat - they have a pattern!"  I'm not sure what math curriculum is going on in 2nd grade, but it must be full of patterns because they try to find them everywhere.
Here is the slide with the steady beat.  Try having the students stand and walk or march in place.  Adding movement is important.  I also add one or two students on the tubano to keep the beat while we do this.  Since my classes are so short (30 minutes), not everyone gets to play an instrument each time, so I try to incorporate them as much as I can.
Adding the structures of music are important.  Play "swat the screen".  Students can use fly-swatters to come up and "swat" the correct item (time signature for example) on the screen.  Be sure to count the measures and barlines.
The students can clap and say the rhythms on syllables.  Add rhythm sticks as well for more fun.
If you're teaching this to 2nd or 3rd graders, they probably aren't ready for either the rhythmic or melodic content, in which case you can teach that by rote.  However, older students are certainly ready for the rhythm content, if not the melody also.  Have the students audiate the song on solfa with hand-signs while you play the tune on the piano.  Then, have them sing and use hand-signs (support them on the piano and repeat this step if needed).  Last, have them sing the correct lyrics while still using hand-signs.  Students can also point out on which line or space each pitch is living.

I included this slide in case you're intending that the song be played on recorder by older students.  I know I have a few 5th grade boys that could tackle this piece, no problem!

The next slide teaches the orffestration.  I usually stop here for the first lesson.

On the next lesson, I review the orff slide with the students, then pick up on the "B" section slide.
Here's the song in Rondo form:
And with movement (so fun - keep the instruments going):
Adding all this can take a while, so therefore, I introduce the partner song on the third lesson.  The PowerPoint includes more instructions on how to teach the songs together.

Here's an additional resources to use with this lesson:
I love this cute dance from ASU.

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