It’s a brand new week and time for another circle game! It’s also time for me to share some exciting news with you, which is that I’ll be traveling to London soon! I’ve already made the most important plan, which is to see Les Misérable in the Queen’s Theater. I’ll be sure to carry tissues. Beyond that however, my plans are still undecided. If you have any suggestions, please do leave them in the comments. This will be my (and my husband’s) first trip to London, so we’re open to just about anything! Oh, and we also won’t forget to visit platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station. I just hope the picture I take is as epic as some of these!
Okay, on to the music…
Two students form an arch (window), while the remaining students form a line with joined hands. One student remains alone at the end of the line. The leader of the line leads them under the arch. The leader sings the first line “Stooping on the window” and the remaining students sing the second “wind the ball”. After going under the arch, the leader leads the line and winds it around the lone student (the ball). Once the students are all wound up, the leader sings “unwind the ball”, and begins to unwind the ball until the students are in a line once again.
An alternative would be to simply have students wind and unwind as they sing the song, without the arch or lone student.
This song is perfect for teaching the call and response form. It’s repetitive nature lends itself to solidifying the concept of form. Plus, it gives plenty of students a chance to lead the class in their call and response. To truly pull the introverts (like me) out of their shell, be sure to lead the class several times before offering the leader position over to a student who’s volunteered. You might also try having two or three leaders at first, until the students are comfortable enough to sing on their own.
With the help of the call and response form, you can easily assess your students’ sense of pitch. I’ve created a simple checklist on Excel, which you can download and print by clicking on the image below.
To fill in the “Student Name” column, copy your entire class list from the original Excel/CSV file you have on hand. Then place your cursor in the box under “Student Name” and paste. The entire list of names you copied will then automatically populate the whole column. Print the list and place it on a clipboard. As you watch your students play the circle game, check off the pitches the students are able to match. I’ve grouped the pitches according to the order in which they’re sung.
“Stooping on the window” = do, mi, so & la, do, re
“Let’s wind/unwind the ball” = so, mi
That’s it for today’s post. I hope you find these ideas useful! Also, don’t forget to leave suggestions for places to visit in London. I’d love to hear your ideas!
I love this song and game. Thank you for this great resource!
I love using call and response songs with games to assess singing skills- the students get so caught up in the game they forget (well most of them) that they're singing alone! This is another great one, glad to add this to my repertoire! #fermatafridays
Me too! Sneaky assessments are the best! 😉
Do you have a source for this song? I have never seen it before and love it! I would like to include it in a book of singing games I am getting ready to publish. May I have your permission to use it with your name as contributor?
Hi Aimee–I originally found it in 150 American Folk Songs to sing read and play (published by Boosey and Hawkes). Absolutely! I'd love to see the book when it's finished 🙂