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  • Writer's pictureJenny Ferris

A Melbourne Cup Merry-Go-Round

Whilst the glorious mid-term day off that Melbourne Cup Day provides may seem like a distant memory, this fun bit of horseplay can keep your classroom fun and festive for a while to come, courtesy of composer Stuart Gillard!

I have had a series of fun lessons with my upper primary students who have been learning about compound time and further developing their part-singing skills using the song "Merry Go Round".

Hobby Horse

In this game, students skip in a circle around a series of coloured hula hoops (I usually arrange half a dozen hoops in three different colours: red, blue and green). At the end of the song, students have 3 seconds to jump into a hoop, fitting as many as possible in (this can lead to some hilarious results, as 26 students all try and squeeze a toe into the blue hoop, for example!)

hula hoops

Once they have chosen their hoop, I draw a coloured token out of a hat (usually a fancy fascinator, in keeping with the races theme). Whichever colour is drawn out eliminates anyone standing in that colour hoop from the game. The game continues until one winner remains.

In the following weeks, I like to use the hoop to assign parts to students (one line of text per hoop). Whenever I stand in their allocated hoop, students must repeat their line of the song over and over. This can be an easy and effective way to layer the different parts of a round. Thanks to Stuart's wonderful composition, this song is perfectly designed for this type of activity.

You can find the song in Stuart Gillard's book "Crazy Compound Capers"

Stuart Gillard "Crazy Compound Capers"

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