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Songs of a Bluebird

Grade Level: K-3

Volume 1, #19 Bluebird

Volume 1, #21 There Stands a Bluebird
Bluebird - Zora Neale Hurston

There Stands a Bluebird — Zora Neale Hurston

Activity #1: Playing a Bluebird game (K-3)
1. Play the children's game "Here Comes the Bluebird" See, for example.

2. Discuss the bluebird as the subject of several popular children's singing games, such as those sung by Zola Neale Hurston, author and anthropologist, on her visit to Haiti with Alan Lomax.

3. Play the song "Bluebird" and have the children listen for the number of times the phrase "Bluebird, Bluebird, through my window" is repeated. (A: Three times)

4. Play the song again and have the children determine that there is a second verse which repeats the words "Catch a little bluebird, pat him on the shoulder" three times, just as was the case in the first verse.

5. "Oh, I am tired!" are the words that end each verse. Children can then listen, sing along with the recording, and play the game.

Game Directions:

Verse 1: Children stand in a circle holding hands. One child is the bluebird, who flies through the windows (raised arms/arches).

Verse 2: The child in the center searches for a 'bluebird' from the circle and 'pats him on the shoulder'. This child then moves to the center and the game starts over.


Activity #2: Words and Movements to "There Stands a Bluebird" (K-3)
1. Ask children listen to "There Stands a Bluebird" (#21) while keeping a steady beat, patting on their laps.

2. Direct children to listen for the "response" ('tra la la'), and the number of verses (4).

3. Teach the class the singing game. The words and directions to 'There Stands a Bluebird' follow below.

Lyrics to 'There Stands a Bluebird'

There stands a bluebird, tra la la la
There stands a bluebird, tra la la la
Gimme sugar, coffee and tea.

Now trip around the ocean, tra la la la
Now trip around the ocean, tra la la la
Now trip around the ocean, tra la la la
Gimme sugar, coffee and tea.

Now show me a motion, tra la la la
Now show me a motion, tra la la la
Now show me a motion, tra la la la
Gimme sugar, coffee and tea.

Now choose your partner, tra la la la
Choose your partner, tra la la la
Choose your partner, tra la la la
Gimme sugar, coffee and tea.

Directions to Playing "There Stands a Bluebird"

1. Children stands in a circle; one child is chosen to be the "bluebird" in the center.

2. On verse 2, the "bluebird" skips around the circle, going through windows (arches) at will.

3. On verse 3, the "bluebird" returns to the center of the circle and improvises a motion or movement to the beat, which the rest of the circle imitates.

4. On verse 4, the "bluebird" flies around the circle and chooses a partner to take her place before the song ends.



Designed by Rita Klinger

 

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