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  • Writer's pictureJenny Ferris

Kodaly Crafts Song Files: Caterpillar crawling round...

This song is a cute little staple of my Junior School teaching. Methodologically speaking, it's great for taa & ti-ti, so & mi, experiencing a descending 5 note scale (or even having a trip down memory lane for older students when you present fa) but most of all, you wanna know the reason why I use this song?

Because it's fun!

First and foremost, I teach the song to my students with a fingerplay. I act out the song phrase by phrase and have them copy it back to me. Now, this wouldn't be a Kodaly Crafts lesson without a puppet - so here she is:

Folkmanis Caterpillar Puppet

This is Kati the Caterpillar, a beautiful puppet from the wonderful folk over at Folkmanis Puppets

She is very flexible and can crawl along your arm in a very lifelike way!

I get my students to copy along with a finger, then use the other hand to swoop in like a magpie. After a few times, we talk about whether it's a happy ending for the caterpillar and whether we might want to change the words of the song to allow our caterpillar to live - maybe she hid under a leaf or, as one imaginative five-year-old suggested, maybe she knew karate and kicked the magpie away!

In any case, we sing "caterpillar hi, hi" instead.

Then comes the chase game!

This is an additive version of tiggy (Phillip Glass would be proud) where one student starts off as the Magpie in the nest - a designated corner of the classroom - while the other students crawl around on the floor as caterpillars.

The students sing the song and on the words "comes a magpie from the sky" the Magpie must fly out and tag a caterpillar, who will become another Magpie and will fly back to the nest with their tagger.

The next round, two Magpies will tag two more caterpillars and so on until everyone has been turned into a Magpie.

The kids love this game and it is one of my most requested games during free time sessions with my prep and yr 1 students!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle

It usually amps them up quite a bit so I always have Eric Carle's classic "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" on hand to calm them down a little before moving on to the next learning segment.

Do you have a favourite chase game? Drop us a line and let us know! Don't forget to sign up to the Kodaly Crafts mailing list if you haven't already done so and you will receive a number of exclusive freebies with other great activities like this one!

You can also pick up a more detailed song analysis with full details of the game for FREE at my Teachers Pay Teachers store

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