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May is the triple crown of horse racing; the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. So it seems fitting that this is the second horse-themed lesson idea I’ve written about this month. And if that wasn’t enough horsey info for you (and if you’re looking for a horse-themed read this summer), here’s a list of books about Secretariat. He’s been my favorite ever since I received a Breyer Horse Model of him when I was little (I lived on the edge). I would also recommend Secretariat the movie, which oddly requires a box of tissues for me. The last turn in the final race gets me every time…
Okay, now on to the reason you’re here, a new lesson idea! Watch the video below to get a feel for the melody. The interlude is meant to be faster (surprisingly so) as part of “rhythmic and dramatic play”, according to my findings from Ruth Seeger’s American Folk Songs for Children.


Designate an area of your room to be “the barn”. If you have chairs, you could place them in a circle to create the space. During the first playing of the interlude, students will escape the barn and gallop around freely. During each stanza, students should slow to a trot or walk, then speed up during the interlude. On the final interlude, students should quickly return to the barn before the song is finished.#2. INSTRUMENTS
The pentatonic melody in this song makes it a great choice for Orff instruments, Boomwhackers, or any other pitched percussion instrument. It’s also a great piece to model and practice alternating hands, especially since this piece highlights the practical reason why percussionists alternate their hands (that interlude is quick!) Ask your students how alternating hands helps them to play fast passages smoothly.

Summer is a great time to start brainstorming on how you might save time during your lessons and make them run more smoothly. One way to do that is to be prepared with tons of visuals to avoid having to repeat verbal instructions. For example, if your students need to set up the bars on the Orff instruments, be sure to have visuals to guide them. Use the free printable below to help save time and your voice! Click on the picture to download.

Thanks to Dancing Crayon Designs and Sonya DeHart Designs for the wonderful graphics!
I hope you find a use for this week’s lesson ideas and freebies. If you already have plans on how to use them, I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below!