Rhythms in England

Grade Level
1-3, 4-6

World Library of Folk and Primitive Music: England 
Corn Rigs — Jack Armstrong's Barnstormer's Band 

Audio file

Country Gardens- William Kember 

Audio file


Grade Levels: 1-3

Activity #1: Rhythms in 4 Meter

  1. Have the students (grades 1-3) listen to Corn Rigs and find and pat the steady beat.
  2. Listen again and have several students take turns leading the class is different ways to physically express the beat (clap, tap, pat, snap, march, etc.)
  3. Depending on the age of the children and the rhythms that are known, have the children read and lightly tap four-beat rhythm patterns from flashcards.
    Patterns may include:rhythms
  4. Line up four students in front of the class and give each student a 4 beat flashcard to hold up. Choose a "conductor" to point to the flashcard or flashcards he or she wants the rest of the class to play as they listen again. 
  5. Repeat, with several new "conductors." 
  6. As an extension, distribute rhythm instruments to play the patterns.

Grade Level: 4–6

Activity #1: Country Dancing

  1. Line up the students (grades 4-6) in two lines, each student facing a partner.
  2. Demonstrate the following steps that are common in simple English Country Dancing
    a. Four steps forward to "greet" your partner, followed by four steps back to your place. Curtsy or bow on the forth step forward.
    b. Walk past your partner to the opposite lines (8 beats)
    c. Right or left elbow swing and back to place (8 beats)
    d. Switch places with the person to your left or right and back to place (8 beats)
  3. Listen to Country Gardens and determine how many dance patterns of 8 beats will be needed. 
  4. Have the students arrange the dance patterns to choreograph a country dance. Listen to Country Gardens again to be check. 
  5. Perform the dance.
  6. Tap into http://www.englishcountrydancing.org/links.html, which contains English Country Dancing history, information, instructions and additional links. See also numerous clips of country dancing on YouTube.

Cultural Link:

Activity #2: Rhyhmic Dancing

  1. Divide the children into four groups and give each group one of the flashcard patterns above.
  2. Have each group create a movement to correspond to the selected rhythm pattern. 
  3. Each group should perform their rhythm/movement as they listen to Corn Rigs first individually, then four groups simultaneously.
  4. The students can determine a performance order or sequence for each group or groups as then listen. 

Designed by Rita Klinger