This year I was all set to teach my students folk song and something happened to mess up the start of the lesson. I think I had a behavior issue to take care of or had to move someone's seat in the seating chart. Whatever it was, it threw off the flow of the lesson. I had to improvise to get back on track and this version of the lesson developed. I wanted to share with you because I think it shows the versatility of the folk song and a little bit of the Orff approach in the teaching of the song and its multiple parts. You'll see us playing with form, student choice, and the infinite possibilities that we had to make the song our own.
Now, "Turn the Glasses Over" was typically an end of season "merriment" and "drinking" song. In fact those farmers would get so "merry" that some of the original lyrics need to be modified to make the song appropriate to sing with our kids. The traditional line in the song goes "Drink all the Brandywine and turn the glasses over." Just sub out "lemonade" for "brandywine" ("Drink all the lemonade and turn the glasses over") or do something like this "drink all you want to drink and turn the glasses over." Easy fix! Also, you could totally pull in a "sailing" or "Sailor" theme for this song since it definitely talks about travel over the ocean. Harvest song or sailing song, you decide. Both work as themes in this song!
SECTION A - "I'VE BEEN TO HARLEM"
First, sing the whole passage as an example (m. 1-8) without expectation that students sing back. This gives them a handle on the whole section and lets them hear everything they're going to learn. Then sing a short phrase (measures 1-4) letting students echo sing the phrase. After that sing the next phrase (m. 5-8) and have students echo back. Finally sing the longer phrase (m. 1-8) and have them echo the whole thing. Don't go on until you know that they know the whole phrase or else it will become difficult for them later.
LABEL WITH LETTERS - TALKING ABOUT FORM
Side note, if you want a copy of the form letters that I use when I teach the song you can get them here for FREE! Whenever I teach a song's form using letters for the different sections (ABA, AB, ABACA, etc) I pull out these cards. I made the cards/letters to fit a half sheet of paper/cardstock, laminated, and attached velcro to the back. Then I added one long strip of velcro to the top of my whiteboard right under the top tack strip. Now, any time we identify form we put the letters up there as we go as a reminder and to help us identify. I don't know why I haven't ALWAYS done something like this. It's such a great help!
I use the half sheet letters when I identify with students and they're the perfect size to print and post on the white board. In this freebie file I've also added full page versions (one letter per page) so that you can make examples to hold up that are larger AND I've made smaller versions (8 letters to a page) so that you can print out and hand out to student allowing them to work on the form in their own space if they want. They're FREE on my TPT store. Check them out HERE.
SECTION B - THE CLAPPING GAME
Clap, Clap, Both hands out, both hands out
Clap, Clap, Both hand parter, both hands partner
SECTION C - "SAILING EAST, SAILING WEST"
Before we move on we have the discussion about whether this is another "A" section (they can tell that it's not) or if it's different. We decide it's different, call it "C" and and put that letter up on the board to identify this section of the song.
FIRST TIME FORM "ABC" - PUTTING IT TOGETHER
So then I said, "Let's make the B section a little more interesting!" I had just got in a box full of new Lummi sticks from West Music that I was dying to try out! Many of you know that I moved to a new school this year and that we're pretty desperate for good supplies. We didn't even have enough rhythm sticks for a whole class set! Talk about not even having the basics! I've set up a few DonorsChoose.org projects and this first one with rhythm sticks, wood blocks, and a couple other goodies has already been completed! I know there are some readers out there who have donated even a couple bucks to these projects. Thanks so much! We have rhythm sticks because of you! If you'd like to see the next project that I've set up for our school, click here! Even $2 or $5 is a big help!
PLAYING WITH FORM - A NEW PATTERN
SECTION D - THE BIG SWITCHEROO
Then we created this pattern: ABAC D ABC. We played with the pattern a few more times and I let students come up and play around the letters and the form so that they could come up with the order that they wanted. After a few more variations of the form we called it quits for the day.
NEXT STEPS... DAY TWO!
Seriously, it's a favorite. AND you can totally do a fun little folk dance (including an easy little promenade) with the song. If you'd like all the historical resources, background, and supporting materials then check out this "Favorite Folk Song" Set that I made for the song. It's actually on sale right now for ONLY $1! Included in the set is a PowerPoint file to project on the whiteboard as you teach the song as well as slides to print off and post out in the hallway on a bulletin board for the kids to look at any time they walk by the music room. Click here or on the image above to see everything that's included!