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While researching songs that would be appropriate for the chilly weather, I ran across this gem on the Kodály Center website from Holy Names University (an awesome resource for folk songs).

 

A few things stuck out to me immediately. It’s short, has simple rhythms, a catchy melody, and employs a pentatonic scale, all of which make for a great (and easy) lesson. The game directions as stated in the Kodály Center are as follows,Children dance in a circle holding hands. On “We all go together”, they raise hands and swoop to the center of the circle. Other types of weather can be added or substituted (sunny weather, foggy weather, etc.)

I think this activity is a wonderful way to introduce the song and help students internalize the melody and rhythms. However, I’ve thought of several ideas you can try to extend the lesson, focusing on movement, teamwork, form, harmony, and rhythm.

Movement
This idea goes along with another blog post I wrote called Pass the Plates, which you can read more about here. Begin the lesson by having students draw snowflakes on a paper plate. You can project examples of different snowflakes on the board, but encourage students to create their own unique snowflake. When finished, have the students work together to create simple movements for the song using their paper plate snowflakes.

For example:
Frosty weather (students raise their right arm up and down in a circular motion, creating an arch with their snowflake)
snowy weather (students create another arch with their left arm)
When the wind blows, (students shake and rattle their plates)
we all go together (students hold both plates out in front of them, touching their neighbors and creating a large ring of snowflakes)

Teamwork
The benefit of having each student draw their own snowflake, is that you can lead a discussion on how each unique snowflake adds to the beauty of the song. This in turn can lead to a discussion about how each snowflake we see outside on the ground plays a vital role in creating a beautiful blanket of snow. The same goes for students who work together to create beautiful music!

Form
Once students are confidently singing this song on their own as a group, break them into two circles (still doing the original movements), and have them sing in a round. Not only will the movements help to keep them on track, but the students will be able to support their part by singing in circles toward each other, rather than singing in an unorganized clump.

Harmony
Teach students a simple bordun on Orff instruments, using pitches G and C. Separate students into groups of singers and players. For an added challenge, have them sing in a round with the Orff accompaniment.

Rhythm
Repeat the song several times with an eight-beat break in the middle, consisting of you playing the steady beat on a drum. Once the students are singing the song confidently, ask for a volunteer to improvise a rhythm pattern during the eight-beat break. They could play your drum, pat, clap, or play a rhythm instrument of their choice. If all students are ready to improvise at once, simply let them take turns going around the circle.

Because I have so many ideas displayed, I opted not to do my usual lesson guide template. Instead, I simply copied and pasted my ideas to create a PDF for you to download. If you’re anything like me, sometimes you just want a piece of paper for your own personal records. I hope you found these ideas helpful! Have a great rest of the week!