Monday, February 13, 2012

Deep in the Heart of Texas - Hoe Down and Texas Sing Along

Each February in Houston as we prepare for the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, we have "Go Texas Day!"  Everyone in Houston wears their boots to work.  Literal wagon trains converge on the city and meet up in time for the Rodeo parade that opens up the festivities.  My school is lucky enough to be able to claim front row status to a very large wagon train route.  The wagon train camps over night literally one block from our campus.   A couple of years ago, one train actually stopped for lunch in our parking lot.

 To celebrate Texas, my school hosts a Hoe-Down and Texas sing along and Rodeo Art Show.  I love it because I get to work together with my great teammates from PE and Art, whom I adore and who are the best teammates any music teacher could have.  Because we do our little hoe-down / sing along during each grade levels regularly scheduled block time, we don't have much time and I must be super efficient.   First on the agenda is for each grade level to show off their fabulous square dancing skills for all the parents who attend and THEN for the last 5-15 minutes we sing cowboy/Texas songs.


If you are like me, I've got quite a bit to be teaching to do in January and February and only one element is Texas music.    Plus, most of the time, I go to TMEA which adds to the days when the students chance to prepare is not ideal.  Also, it's at this time of year when students get pulled for tutoring in preparation for all of the looming tests.....This is my reality......  So, I keep things simple.

I introduce some favorites with books when I can get my hands on ones that are applicable.  Here are two of my favorites!

Kinder and 1st have a set of songs and then 2nd-5th grade have a set of songs.  This is my 3rd year at this school and  I haven't changed any songs from that first year because they are great songs that the students love.  Plus the better they remember them from year to year, the more I can shift these songs over to the "review" collection rather than the "need to know" collection of songs.  Because of the way that I have the songs divided, now days the only grade levels that really have to work to prepare for Sing Along are Kindergarten and 2nd grade.  Everyone else reviews and polishes the songs while doing other equally  important work in music rather than focusing solely on learning the "Texas" songs.  


Go Texas Day 2011

  • I always teach more songs than I will need because I NEVER know how much time I am going to have.  Last year during one grade level I had a full 20 minutes in one grad level and 5 minutes in the next.  With that in mind I need my students to be ready to sing and sing well without much prompting or support.  
  • When I practice with my students in the weeks leading up to the sing along, I have them practice several different ways to help them be flexible.  
    • with and without a CD accompaniment
    • with and without guitar
    • with and without a powerpoint slideshow
  • I also have students practice advancing the slides on the powerpoint because I've only got two hands and managing the guitar, the CD remote and the slide show clicker is too much.  

I am going to share with you the powerpoint that I use with 2nd through 5th grade.  All of my pictures were borrowed from msn clipart OR stock xchange website.  When I uploaded this document into google docs so that I could share it, ALL of the text and pictures shifted slightly, so this slideshow is not as good as the one I use, but I'm hoping that you will get the idea.    If you choose to use or to refer to my powerpoint, please note that it is intended for educational purposes only.  Lyrics for most songs are from Macmillan McGraw Hill, Spotlight on Music OR Share the Music.

Kinder/1st song list
  • Jingle Jangle Jingle - 2nd grade Spotlight on Music
  • Deep in the Heart of Texas - on guitar
  • Goodbye Old Paint - 4th grade Share the Music
  • I'm a Tex - I have no idea (I inherited this one)
  • T.E.X.A.S. - to the tune of BINGO
  • I'm gonna brand my doggie with an X - PE provided this song - I'ts HARD! 
  • Old Chisholm Trail - from book on guitar
  • Home on the Range - from book on guitar
  • Texas Our Texas - chorus only Spotlight on Music
2nd-5th grade song list
  • Jingle Jangle Jingle - 2nd grade Spotlight on Music
  • Yellow Rose of Texas - Texas Medley Spotlight on Music
  • Deep in the Heart of Texas
  • Don't Fence Me In 4th grade Spotlight on Music
  • T.E.X.A.S. - because they like it
  • Goodbye Old Paint 4th grade Share the Music
  • My Home's in Montana - (ok it's not a Texas song, but is a cowboy song) 4th grade Share the Music
  • Old Chisholm Trail - from book on guitar
  • Home on the Range - from book on guitar
  • Texas Our Texas - (2nd & 3rd 1st verse only) (4th & 5th entire song) Spotlight on Music

See what I mean?  We learn WAY too much music!  With the older grades I typically shorten Jingle Jangle AND Don't Fence Me In to one time through..... THEN we have time for about two verses of Old Chisholm trail and MAYBE two verses of Home on the Range. 


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