March is a great month to introduce students to Irish music. And with the weather warming up, it’s also a great time for lots of movement and possibly a little field trip outside!
Check out the videos at the bottom of this post to hear the whole song.
There’s a Big Ship Sailing is a folk song originating from Ireland. The lyrics, which focus on ships and the ocean, provide a great opportunity for a class discussion about Irish culture. Project on your whiteboard or print the image below to help facilitate a class discussion.
I discovered the following game from the kodaly.hnu.edu website. I’d never heard of using these movements with this song, but I’m sure it would be a hit with students in a variety of grade levels.
Students form a line holding hands
The student on the left end (it) leans against a wall or a basketball post (if you’re outside)
The student on the right end leads the line counter-clockwise through the space between “it” and the wall/post
Students continue this action until “it” is completely wound up
Students start winding again, this time passing through “it” and the next student in line
Continue on until, one by one, all are wound
To unwind, simply reverse the process
After your students have had some fun singing and playing the game, have them sit down for some quiet listening time. The following videos are just a few examples of Irish music that your students may recognize and enjoy.The following performance from the Clancy Brothers goes through several children’s folk songs from Ireland. In between each song, they discuss a little about their own vernacular.
Fair warning that you’ll definitely want to review this video carefully. Depending on your unique classroom situation, I would suggest stopping after the 5:00 mark.
Have your students move to the steady beat of the following music. Then, ask them to discuss what elements of the music made them inspired to move to it.
What have you been doing with your students for the month of March (other than MIOSM activities)? Please share your ideas in the comments section!