Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lady in the Graveyard

Hello everyone!

I know we all love this time of year, don't we?!  I'm very excited to be working through my October lessons.  I have so many fun things that I really have to pick and choose between them.

Here's an activity that I'll be trying next week with my 5th graders (would be good for 4th grade too).  My teaching partner is doing a really cool "Skin and Bones" lesson with our 4th graders that totally inspired this.

Please note: While this is a traditional song (I did change a few words), I did borrow this particular soprano xylophone part from D. Gagne's "Music Play" Grade 5 #23.  She also uses the same bass part I do.

Feel free to copy and paste these slides and use them as you need to

First, we'll sing through the lyrics.  I'll ask the students, "What do you notice about the melody?" (It remains the same throughout the entire piece).

 Here is the melody of the song (sorry for the confusion earlier):

At the ghost icon, that's where the "ooo" part (same as below on the recorder) is sung.  I found a cute ghost this year at Dollar Tree (see below - I'm so jealous if you find all of them - I only have the jack-o-lantern, skeleton, and ghost).  I'll be giving him to one student to hold up while we sing the "ooo" (the ghost can totally trace the melodic shape of that line).

Next, I'll teach the recorder part.  Students can then play the "ooo" part on the recorder.

Next, we'll add the unpitched instruments (see lyrics slide above).  They are pretty self-explanatory.  I'll also add some kiddos rubbing on hand drums to create a ghostly-wind sound (they'll play throughout the piece).  I would suggest beginning with the chimes (that way you can pass that job around on repetitions) and adding in each unpitched instrument one at a time.

Then, we'll play the game (some kiddos can stay on instruments while this is done):
Game Instructions
Formation: Circle with small spaces in between students.   One student is the "old lady" and three other students are the "ghosts".
Play: During the singing, the ghosts "float" around in the middle of the circle while the lady paces outside the circle.  On verse three, only the ghosts sing, "Would you like to come inside?" and on verse four only the old lady sings, "Eww, I don't want to go with you!"  Then the "old lady" shouts, "Boo!" and the "scared" ghosts fly out of the circle.  The old lady chases them for eight counts (if they are caught they sit) then all the players freeze so they/the teacher can select new players.  Students should be counting to eight during the playing part using a spooky ghost voice.
Additions: It is totally fun for the "old lady" to be armed with a funoodle (her "walking stick") or a scarf (her "handkerchief") with which to tag the ghosts.

During the next lesson, we'll add the Orff instrumentation to our singing/playing:

This is a great song to discuss low la, ti, and do with older students.


  1. Hi Emily! This looks like a fun lesson and I'd love to use it, but I want to make sure I get the melody right. However, I can't find a recording of the song online. Do you know of one? Thanks! ~Molly

  2. Emily,
    I, too, would like to clarify the melody. You wrote that the melody and the "ooh's" are the same as the recorder part written in the slides?

  3. The song is in Denise Gagne's, "The Orff Source", p.66!

  4. I truly love your blog! I've missed your updates and happy to see/'hear" from you again. I understand you are in a new school and have been busy. I complete understand. I've recently have had two babies and have been struggling to "get back into the swing of things". I do want you to know that I've always prided myself as a good music educator, yet you push me to be better. THANK YOU!! I just wanted you to know that you are changing my educational career in a positive way. Side pressure...just giving you props and gratitude.

  5. Hello ladies! I've added the melody to the song into the post above - I hope that helps!

    Cathy - thank-you for your kind words - that really means a lot to me. And you had twins?! Congrats!!!! Best wishes this school year!

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