Popular Dance and Movement Resources for the Classroom

Resource collections (especially older ones) need to be screened carefully for songs with a questionable past. Here’s a link to databases containing some of those songs.
Since we often purchase dances/mp3s in collections, this page is set up by the book, not the dance. A few YouTube dance examples for each book will be included.

Down in the Valley by the Amidons

Favorites

  • I Let Her Go Go
  • Down In the Valley
  • Alabama Mississippi
  • Charlie Over the Ocean

Step Lively by Marian Rose

Favorites

  • Kinderpolka
  • Sasha
  • Ozark Rag
  • Bingo

I’ll be adding lots of books/dances this summer and if you have one you want me to highlight, let me know in the comments below!

Rise Sally Rise Round De Doo Bop

St. Patrick’s Day Special Activities With History, Songs, And Dances

On This Page

  • Slideshow (St. P history, Rattlin’ Bog, Irish Washerwoman, Sing a Rainbow)
  • The Broom Dance
  • Follow the Rainbow info

Google Slide Presentation ⬇️

At the bottom of the slide, click on the 3 dots to find the ENTER FULL-SCREEN link.

Click to Begin or Enter Full Screen & Begin

If you have a problem, send an email to oodlesofmusic21@gmail.com or comment below.

The Broom Dance

  • Set up three chairs and two lines of students (facing into center is best) are lined up from the two outer chairs. There are three students sitting in the chairs and the student in the middle has a shamrock (or valentine or snowflake or whatever)
  • When the music begins, everyone claps the steady beat and the child with the shamrock gives the shamrock to either the person on their right or left. The person who just received the shamrock moves to the middle seat and the two others dance down the lane and join the end of their respective lines.
  • The empty chairs are taken by the student next in line from each of the two rows.
  • Use any fun Irish song!
  • This is a great movement activity for K-2.

Follow the Rainbow

This song by Teresa Jennings is FABULOUS and for the price of the singles kit on Music K8 ($14.95 currently), it is worth it because you can use it any time of the year and you WILL use it every year!

Encanto Song Ideas and Music Activities for Teaching Right Now

We Don’t Talk About Bruno

Let’s talk about Bruno! 🤣 Here’s a new MOVEMENT video for Bruno with the ending movement matching the contrapuntal lines of the ending. This is for parents, classroom teachers, music teachers, and anyone who

The Charm of Encanto

This original song inspired by the Spanish word, encanto, is accompanied by an Orff arrangement, Latin rhythm and melodic elements, and is a great extension to the movie craze that has swept the nation.  

It’s a perfect concert selection or classroom exploration of Latin-flavored ostinati!

Colombia, Mi Encanto

Activity Packet from Disney

This packet from Disney is amazing and has information about the characters, Columbia, nature, and music along with printable activities.

Encanto Lessons on Google Slides

Thank you Cathy for these Google Slide lessons!

Who Has Seen the Wind? Song & Lesson Rhythmic REMIX

The classic song, “Who Has Seen the Wind?” has been REMIXED and is ready for winter, spring, summer, and fall windy weather!

Perfect for teaching half notes, low la, and minor tonality, the teaching process includes Orff and Kodaly approaches along with recorder and movement sections.

Spotlight Classroom Musician of the Week – Thelonious Monk


Thelonious Monk, Jazz Pianist

Movement Activity Below

Thelonious was born in North Carolina and moved to New York City when he was four. He was a good student and athlete and began playing the trumpet and soon after, the piano. Thelonious was considered a musical prodigy and became so accomplished, he performed in churches, theaters, clubs, and playhouses. He was known for a type of jazz music called bebop and broke lots of the musical rules in rhythm, melody, and harmony.

He was part of a group of jazz greats at the time which included Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and Dizzy Gillespie. Thelonious loved his family and wrote songs for his children. The songs were “Little Rootie Tootie” and “Boo Boo’s Birthday” and “Green Chimneys.” He was born in 1917 and died in 1982 at the age of 64. (Info from Theloniusmonkmusic.com)

Thelonious wrote a swinging piece called, “Stuffy Turkey.”

Stuffy Turkey Movement Activity

Stuffy Turkey by Thelonious Monk

Advanced Movement Options

Monkeys Spinning Monkeys

A bubbly, bouncy instrumental piece that is perfect for movement activities. This instrumental piece posted on Youtube in 2014 and became a TikTok sensation, reaching over 1 million plays in 2021.

 

Here you will find the piece analysis, links, and teaching ideas!

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay 


Links

Composer, Kevin MacLeod’s YouTube channel with a visual representation of the song very similar to Chrome Song Maker.

Examples of how Monkeys Spinning Monkeys has been used on TikTok.

Song Download Site & Info about the song with downloadable wav files and sheetmusic.

Teaching Ideas

I’ve outlined ideas for the A, B, and C sections for movement, drums, and parachutes. A great idea for exploration and creation is to let the students create the movement, drum part, or parachute moves.

  • Divide the class in thirds and put each in charge of one of the sections. Perform the piece with each group performing on their section(s).
  • You can teach the A and B section then let small groups come up with their ideas for the C section. Share each group’s idea. Perform the entire piece with the whole group performing the same A and B and then the C will sparkle with all of the unique ideas happening at once.
  • Extend the learning by going to Chrome Music Lab’s Song Maker and have students compose an A B A C A song.


If you use any of these ideas, please comment below and let me know!

It’s About Time

“What animal keeps the best time?

A WATCH dog!

Spotlight Artist: Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck was a jazz musician. He was born in California and died in 2012 at age 91. He loved experimenting with different time signatures such as 5/4, 6/4, and 9/8. He recorded Take 5 in 1959 and it became a jazz hit and a classic. Take 5 was written by Paul Desmond.

Take 5

A Mashup of Take Five and Beethoven’s Fur Elise

Fun With Fives

Try a few of these ideas!

Body Percussion
  1. Count to five repeatedly and clap on the numbers FOUR and FIVE. Add the music.
  2. Instead of clapping on the 4 and 5, what else could you do?
    • Get with a partner or small group, come up with a plan, and share with the class!
Movement
  1. Can we move on all five numbers? Let’s try some opposites.
    • Hands up on 1-2-3 and down on 4-5
    • Bend over on 1-2-3 and straighten on 4-5
    • Smile on 1-2-3 and frown on 4-5
    • Right arm up on 1-2-3 (then down) and left arm up on 4-5 (then down)
    • Challenge move: Sway one direction on 1-2-3 and then the opposite on 4-5.
  2. Parachute-whether you have a big parachute, mini parachutes, or scarves, create a move for the 1-2-3 and then another for the 4-5.
    • Parachute-up on 1-2-3 then while up, pull, shake, or beat of hands on 4-5. Repeat for down. So, “Up, two, three, pull, pull. Down, two, three, pull, pull.”
  3. Create movement for the A section and then the B section to perform the entire first section Intro and ABA. (see notes below)
Speech
  1. 3+2=5 Add a 3-syllable animal to a 2-syllable animal-“mockingbird + robin”
    • Play the TWO syllable game. The teacher says “An-i-mal” and each student (or with a partner) in rhythm has to say a two syllable animal. The teacher can point to random students or go in order. If you play it as an out game, students who are out could then be in charge of clapping on 4 and 5 or playing an instrument on 4 and 5.
    • Could you play using “Yum-my fruit” or “Stu-dent names”?
  2. Try the 3 + 2 activity with colors, food, plants, reptiles, etc.
Instruments
  1. Drums
    • Play on beats 4 and 5 trying out different drum techniques. (low, high, brush, knock, fist.
    • Put two together for the 1-2-3 + 4-5. Maybe brush for 1-2-3 and high for 4-5. Let students explore and then share with class.
    • Try playing just on the 1.
    • Try using the form ABA. The A section is the two styles on 1-2-3, 4-5 and the B section is just on the 1. Try it with the recording.
  2. Sticks-exactly the same idea as drums but partners could tap each other’s sticks on the 4 and 5 of the A section or beat 1 of the B section.

Spotlight Artist: Al Jarreau

Al Jarreau was a singer. He was born in Wisconsin and came from a very musical family. He sang jazz, pop, soul, and R & B music and won many Grammy awards. He died in 2017.

Singing-Take 5 Cover with lyrics.
Les Nuages is a band from Romania.

If you are adventurous, here are some lyrics I created to show students some possibilities. Sing along 😀 and try writing some of your own.

Lyric Template-Write a class version!

Teacher Notes

  1. The form (video above): Intro (drum solo then 8 measures of piano intro), ABA, sax improv, drum improv, at 4:20 a return to ABA, coda.
  2. Depending on your school situation, lots of additional opportunities are available if you use a variety of formations: rows and columns, circles
  3. Parachute activity-It’s always best to verbalize movements of this type. I’ve included what you might say.
Kahoot Questions
  1. Who performed the piece Take 5?
  2. What genre of music is Take 5?
  3. What is the time signature for Take 5?
  4. Identify the piano, saxophone, and drums.