Upon seeing the title of this post, you may be surprised that I’ve never featured this song before. Me too. As you know, I love coffee, so I’m pretty excited to share some ideas for teaching the song Some Love Coffee. I’ve seen a few different versions of this song, but today I’ll be using the one I’ve shown below.
This song would be great to teach a multitude of rhythm and melody concepts, such as half note, quarter rest, pentatonic melodies, syncopation, and so on. Today, I’m formatting my printable lesson guide in the same way as last week’s. It will be a run-down of all my ideas focused on a specific grade level, and in today’s case, that’s kindergarten.
Begin by relating the words of the song to the students’ daily lives. What is coffee and/or tea? Who in their life drinks coffee or tea? Dig a little deeper and ask them what the line “Some love money but they don’t love me.” could mean. Ask them leading questions such as, “Why would someone love money?” or “Is it better to love money or to love people?” This could spur a wonderful discussion for character education.
Have students move to the music as you sing. You could give them scarves, ribbons, or just have them use their arms as they step around the room to the steady beat. Once they get a feel for the music, ask them to listen for the long sounds in the song. Each time they hear a long sound, they should float the scarf in an arch above their head. Demonstrate the action a few times before setting them loose on their own. If you want to try this activity with older grades, consider having them skate on paper plates. You can read more about that here.
Now that your students have had a chance to move around (and maybe even get a little sweaty), ask them to sit down in a circle. Print the listening map below and have students follow along as they sing the song. As they sing, walk around the circle and assess how each student is doing. If students are struggling to follow, you may need to revisit the lesson on a different day.
Whether you are introducing syncopation terminology or not, I think it’s a good idea to have students of all ages experience it. This song in particular has a great example of syncopation in measure five. If you’re using this song with older grades, you might ask them what they notice about the rhythm of the song. Ask if there’s any point which feels a little off, like a rocking boat.
As I go forward with these free lesson guides each week, I’m thinking about continuing with the format I used today. I’m hoping this will make it more convenient for you, to simply print off the lesson guide and keep it handy on your desk or in your planner. Is today’s format the kind you prefer? If so, please let me know in the comments. I’d love your input!