Today I’ll be sharing a lesson idea for Go Round the Mountain, reimagined for a virtual classroom. The last time I wrote about this song, which you can read HERE, I shared a circle game along with colored notation that could be used with recorder. This time, I’ll be focusing on a clapping game and how to infuse student choice into the song and reinforce the concept of strong and weak beats.

Clapping Game

There is no traditional clapping game for this song, so you can make up whatever you want and tailor it to your students. My idea was to use this song to help teach strong and weak beat. So, students would pat their legs on the strong beat and clap on the weak beat.

By patting your legs on the strong beat, you’re reinforcing the concept of “downbeat”, as well as reinforcing the downward motion we would use to conduct in 2/4 meter.

Student Choice

Student choice is incredibly important in a classroom, but it doesn’t always have to be a monumental choice. It can be as little as asking students to choose their favorite body percussion to perform on the final half note. The visuals below give you an idea of how to present this choice. You can download these visuals for free HERE.

In the physical classroom, students would choose a different action to perform in a circle. For example, they could “Skip round the mountain.” Though you’re more limited physically, you could still perform non-locomotor actions with the song whether you’re face to face or virtual. Here’s a brief list of the different actions you can try. It’s always good to ask students what action to try next:

  • sway
  • wave
  • bend
  • stretch
  • sink
  • shrug
  • turn
  • pose
  • twist
  • melt
  • wiggle
  • shake
  • spin
  • roll
  • curl
  • extend

This list is more than enough to get started, but I’m sure your students would have even more ideas for how to move to the song.