To the tune of This Old Man Valentine, valentine. Won’t you be my valentine? Number 1, number 2, number 3 it must be you. Take my heart along with you.
Sitting in a scattered formation or columns and rows is the most fun, although a circle will work, too. The first child is the leader and has a valentine in their hand and walks around the room as the song is sung. On each of the three numbers, the leader taps the head (or back) of the nearest 3 children. The third child is given the heart, stands up, and holds hands with the leader. The leader continues to slowly walk around the room, meandering in any direction, and when the song gets to the numbers, the child on the end who has the valentine taps 3 heads and gives the valentine to the third child. That child stands up, holds hands with the person who gave them the valentine, and now the group of three walks around the room. The game continues until there is only one child left. When that child gets the valentine, there is only one person left, YOU the teacher. So the end child gets to give the valentine to you.
Roses Are Red
This is a wonderful 6/8 Valentine activity for grades 3-5.
Using the old poem “Roses are Red”, echo speak with body percussion until everyone knows it.
1. Individuals improvise the poem on pitched percussion/recorders. When we do this, we start with someone and just proceed all around the room. I keep a little bass beat on the BX and play a little interlude between each child. It is so much fun and the 6/8 of course is lilting and beautiful!
2. Finish the melody activity-On xylophones have students learn DRMS, DRMS for the first two lines of the poem and then they create the melody for the last two lines. We vote on our favorite and that becomes their class melody. I usually do it in C pentatonic. It would work well on recorders in G major. OR, you could do LDRM in E minor on recorders for a fun and accessible way to finish a melody using the notes EGAB.
3. Building bricks with 6/8-students brainstorm. Three eighth note examples are valentine and chocolate. Dotted quarter examples are love, heart, red, candy. Put combos together in groups to create B, C, D, E, F, etc. sections in rondo form with the song above as your A section. Or pick favorite group creation as the B section for a more simple binary form. These can be transferred to non-pitched percussion.
4. If you’d like to explore writing poems in the style of “Roses are Red”, try changing the colors and then the rhyming words.
Roses are blue. Violets are red. If you agree, You’ve got rocks in your head.
This is a great beat passing game! Whoever has the pumpkin on the last beat of the song is OUT! Continue playing until there is a final winner. As students get out, they can go get sticks and play to the beat as the game progresses.
Pass the Pumpkin Orff Arrangement
I LOVE teaching about minor keys and this has such a great descending line with the last 5 notes-mi, re, do, ti, la. It’s so fun to play in D minor with a simple D bordun on BX and other instruments playing the last five notes on A, G, F, E, and D.
Take a fun poem for a B section and you’ve got a performance piece!
There have been schools where I didn’t talk about Halloween and so my new lyrics were: Pass the pumpkin all around, listen to that pumpkin sound. Ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo, pumpkin time is here!
Written in 2/4
My mystery song (only the rhythm to go on) today was Pass the Pumpkin. When they figured out that it was Pass the Pumpkin, they were challenged with creating a spring version of this fall song. “Pass the twister all around. Listen to that whirling sound. Oo, oo, oo, oo. Tornado season is here.” Then I drew the tornado on the tennis ball and we played the game.