On a Mountain is a great song to use with skipping rope. As your students are having fun skipping rope, you can teach them about musical form. I’ve even included some ideas for modifications for younger students and alternatives for skipping rope.
Borrow the longest jump ropes your P.E. teacher has for this lesson. The longer they are, the more students you can have jumping at the same time.
Two students will be in charge of one rope. They’ll get it swinging during the first section of the song. Then, on the words “now jump” one or two students will begin jumping in the middle. You can insert their names into the song as indicated. Or you can sing instead “Now jump in the middle”.
The logistics of this lesson depends mostly on the size of your classroom and the jump ropes you’re able to use. But, no worries if you’re limited on space. The rest of the class can wait in a circle around the jumpers, while playing rhythm instruments on the beat. Or you can use the modifications I’ve described below…
To play this game with younger students, keep the ropes on the floor. Have one student on each end, dragging the rope right to left on the beat. Then, the jumpers only have to jump over the rope as it passes under their feet.
You could also try hula hoops or form the jump ropes into circles on the floor. Then, have students jump in and out of the circles on the beat. This way, you can have more students participating at the same time. Plus, you don’t have to worry about them tripping all over themselves or their classmates. It’s a successful day if your kids can make it out of your classroom without hurting themselves or others. Am I right?
Once students have played through the game, you can begin discussing the form. Ask questions such as, “How many parts did this song have?” “What were the same and different parts?” Students should be able to easily identify the two sections. Especially since the jumping occurs only in the second section.
From there, you can ask students what other songs they know that are organized into two sections. This would be a great introduction to AB/binary form. My friend Angie has a fun webpage, Musical Deli, that goes over the basics of form.
If you’re looking for a ready-to-go resources to teach basics of form, you can download my Basics of Form resource, which is available in both PowerPoint and Google Slides. It reviews the feel, sound, and sight of musical form, and works well with a wide range of age levels.