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It’s hard to believe that I’m only a few weeks away from stuffing my face and subsequently complaining about how I “ate too much”, while happily lounging on the couch. Because really, I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t going to happen at some point during Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, I’ve been wondering how I could incorporate the theme of food into one of my weekly lesson plan ideas here on the blog, and I think I hit upon the perfect song, Just From the Kitchen.

I found my version of this song in the book Sail Away: 155 American Folk Songs to sing read and play. However, you can read and listen to a slightly different version HERE.

This song would be great to teach musical form, explore creative movement, and provide opportunities for students to sing alone. In addition, I think it can be used with a variety of different age groups and skill levels. You’ll notice in this week’s template, that I’ve included standards for 1st through 4th grade. However, I think this song could be used with older grades as well.

Click image to download

The lesson template above (which you can download for free) is meant to be used as a guide for writing your own lesson plan using Just From the Kitchen. You can use the excess space at the bottom of the guide to sketch out activity ideas or jot down notes on what you’d like to include in your own lesson plan.

Idea #1
Play the traditional game that accompanies the song (shown in the video below). As the students “fly” across the circle, encourage them to move in new ways. The students can focus on creative movement and singing the chorus using the correct melody pattern. Meanwhile, you will sing the solo. You can replace “Oh Miss Mary” with each students name as you go.  For example, “Oh Mister Brandon, Shoe-lie-loo” and so on.

Download and display the following visual on your interactive whiteboard to help your students understand the melody pattern of the chorus. Or, if you don’t have an interactive whiteboard, you can simply print the visual and hold it up as you explain the pattern.

Click image to download
Print the remaining pages from the download and cut along the dotted lines (as shown below). If you plan on using the papers long-term, be sure to laminate them first. Toward the end of class, pass out the papers to each student. Tell them to arrange the pitches to show the correct pattern of the melody. The picture below shows how their finished pattern should look. You can use this as a way to assess their understanding of the melodic patterns.
If you’d rather not go through the process of laminating or cutting, simply print out the final sheet in your download (shown below) and ask students to fill it out. I formatted it to be two worksheets per page to save on paper and ink.

Idea #2
This second idea can be used in a following class period, after the students have had experience singing and moving to the song, as well as identifying the melodic patterns in the chorus.  Briefly review the song by singing through it once. Ask your students to identify the “same and different parts”. They will point out the fact that you sang the solo, in which the words change, and they sang the chorus, in which the words stayed the same. Once they’ve made those connections, explain that the song is in the form of call and response, for exactly the reasons they just stated.

Then, have the students play the game again, except this time, ask for volunteers to sing the solo. After a few rounds, allow the volunteer to choose the next soloist. Allowing students turns to sing the solo will give you a great chance to assess their pitch-matching abilities.Idea #3
Have a family member you dislike and want to annoy over the holidays? Trying singing this song every time they come back from the kitchen. Invite like-minded family members to join in by clapping and inserting the word “biscuits” with whatever food they have in their hand.

I’m kidding, but if you decide to try this out anyway (against my better judgment), just don’t tell them it was my idea.

That’s it for today. If you have a moment, please leave a message in the comments letting me know which idea(s) you plan to use in the coming weeks! 

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