Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Shoo Fly, Fermatas, and Form!

2nd Graders have been learning about musical terms! In first grade, they learned about many different opposites in music (fast and slow, loud and soft, high and low, long and short) and now they are learning the real Italian vocabulary. So far, they have learned about dynamic markings such as forte, piano, crescendo, and decrescendo and now they are learning about fermatas!

The students learned the song, "Shoo Fly," and quickly discovered that there was a fermata in the song! Then they learned some choreography and performed a circle dance mixer together.

They started out working with partners...

And then we tried it in circle formation...

Introduction/Interlude/Coda - students pretend to play guitar, banjo, and harmonica
Section A - Students clap hand with partner on "Shoo" (R, L, R), point to self with thumbs
Section B - Students clap both hands with partner on "Feel"
Fermata - Students draw the fermata in the air

(Music Teachers: I am using the arrangement from the "Share the Music" curriculum.)

To create the circle dance, I had the students form two concentric circles. The inside partners remained in place while the outside partners rotated to the right on each fermata (Oh!).

Here is Ms. Cook's class performing "Shoo Fly" -


  1. Love the blog! I noticed in a previous post you mentioned a karaoke party as a reward for your students. What do you use for the karaoke and what sort of rules do you have in place for this party?

    1. Hi Tabitha! Thanks for reading! My students have a chance to earn stickers each week they come to music. If they do a great job they earn one, if they do a fabulous job they earn two, and if they don't have such a great day they don't earn any stickers. After they earn 6 stickers they can earn a karaoke party. It is so much fun and it really motivates them to work together toward a common goal. I also love that I can work on several music standards while also celebrating good behavior and having fun! They work (obviously) on singing and matching pitch, performing music of a variety of styles and time periods (their favorite is disco!), and audience skills/etiquette. Not to mention fluency by reading the lyrics on the screen. I like the "Party Tyme" ( CD's because they have the option of using vocals for more timid singers but I have collected a variety of CD's through the years. For my rules, I really emphasize using their best singing voices and showing respect for the performers. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks again! :)

  2. This is wonderful! I'm wondering if you have these screens as a powerpoint available?

  3. Hello! May I know which version of Shoo Fly did you use? I couldn't find it on youtube or anywhere else. It's a great version and I hope to be able to use it for my assignment presentation on music and movement. Hope to hear from you soon!