Here in rural Indiana, we’ve experienced our fair share of cold weather already. Students need even more chances to move and dance when their time outside is limited. There’s only so many snowmen you can build when it’s below zero outside. So, I’m writing about another easy folk dance you can try with your students. Last week, I wrote about Old Brass Wagon, an easy square dance that you can modify to fit your situation. This week, I’m focusing on the song Skating Away, which is set to the tune of All Around the Mulberry Bush.
- Begin with students in a circle, with two couples in the center.
- The couples in the center form a right-hand star or a basket-weave hand lock as shown in the video below.
- During the first verse, the circle steps clockwise, while the couples move counter-clockwise.
- In the second verse, both groups change direction.
- During the third verse, the couples choose new players to be in the middle.
- The new couples prepare the right-hand star, while the circle sings and claps to the third verse.
- Then, the song and dance begins again.
What I like about this folk dance is that it doesn’t require a lot of hand-holding. It can be modified to work for students who have very little or no experience in dancing. For example, instead of having students in the circle join hands, you could have them touch shoulders instead. Or instead of doing the right-hand star, students can try the basket-weave hand lock as shown in the video above.
Check out THIS LIST and bookmark it to keep track of all the basic calls in square dancing and their definitions.
SOLFEGE & NOTE NAME PRACTICE
This song is great for practicing the interval so-do. Each phrase begins with so-do, and the final phrase ends with the pattern so-la-ti-do. I created some free worksheets and a projectable you can use to practice Solfege or note names, depending on what you need.
I created this projectable, which you can use to have students fill in the missing syllables. Here are a few ways I envision you using the projectable in your classes:
- Use the color-coded notes to play Boomwhackers™ or colored bells.
- Fill in some of the boxes with Solfege, and ask students to fill in the rest.
- Ask students to fill in the boxes with letter names.
- Write chord markings above the staff and have students play along on Orff instruments or ukuleles.
I also created half-sheet worksheets. One set is black and white and the other has the same color-coding as the projectable. Print, then cut them in half and label the boxes in Solfege or letter names, leaving some of the boxes blank for the students to fill in. Then, make enough copies for your class.
I hope that these lesson ideas are helpful as you work through the winter cold. What are some of your favorite folk dances to use with your classes? Let me know in the comments section!