It’s hard to believe, but by this time next week, we’ll be in the month of May. And what better time than teach the classic All Around the Maypole? Plus, it’s my birthday month, and though I’m not celebrating the extra gray hairs, I am looking forward to an evening out in warmer weather.

Students stand in a circle with hands joined. They walk around to the steady beat, while one student in the middle skips in the opposite direction inside the circle. Then, the student in the middle chooses a partner to dance with (or another movement that works for the situation), while the rest of the students clap to the steady beat. Then, the dancing students bow to each other, the chosen students switch places, and it begins again.
This song would be great to practice barred sixteenth notes with your older students. The sixteenths are found in three places, all with the same words, which make it great for identification. Watch the video I created below to see and hear the sixteenth notes.


If you are lucky enough to have a maypole, try some maypole dancing. This blog post from Lindsay Jervis has great tips for getting started. If you are in need of an extra sturdy base for your maypole, place your pole inside an old tire and fill it up with cement. Though, be sure you have some strong adult helpers when it’s time to move it!
The video below shows kids maypole dancing at their local fair.

If you’ve attempted maypole dancing with your own students, please share your experience in the comments section. Also, if you have any stellar DIY tips for making your own maypole, please share them. I’d love to learn more from all of you!

6 Responses

    1. I love that! I was just talking with my aunt today, and she brought up the subject of maypoles on the playground. The ones with long chains and bars to hold. I haven't seen one of them in a really long time!

  1. This is a great resource! Our field day at our school has an Olympic Day theme and next year we are going to have all the third grade classes performing May Pole dances on the track. This song will be a great intro. Thanks for sharing! Aimee @

  2. I love maypole dancing! I used to do it every year with my 2nd graders at my last school, but haven't been able to work out the logistics at my current one yet. I really should bring it back. In the meantime, what a great idea to do the song at least! Thanks for sharing. I love the videos you've been doing. #fermatafridays

    1. Thank you!! I plan on continuing with the videos, so I'm glad you like them. With practice, I hope to make them a bit spiffier too 🙂