Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I've Been Everywhere

One favorite country song that kids still may have heard and will likely enjoy is I've Been Everywhere. It's a fun challenge to sing it. This lesson idea integrates music with social studies and lauguage arts (and possibly math and even science, too).

Music Objectives: Students will sing in small groups with a pre-recorded accompaniment, explore musical genres (country), compose original lyrics, and create movement sequences.

Social Studies Objectives: Students will locate places on a map representing where they have been. (If you need a math connection they could also figure out how far they have traveled from place to place).

Language Arts Objectives: Students will identify the rhyme scheme for the verse in I've Been Everywhere and compose an original verse. (This could also serve as a writing prompt to tell a story about a trip they have been on.)

Materials: Recording of I've Been Everywhere (preferrably a karaoke recording as well for performance); Lyrics for I've Been Everywhere (make sure the lyrics match the performance since Hank Snow's version has a few different places from Johnny Cash's).

  • Listen to the song as a class (this could occur on multiple occasions).
  • Sing along with the song as a class a few times (with lyrics).
  • Discuss and list places where the students have been.
  • Discuss and map the rhyme scheme of the verse.
  • Divide into groups. Each group will locate on a map the places that they have been. (This could be limited to a specific geographical location.) List the places. Look for places that rhyme.
  • Arrange places into a verse following the rhyme scheme identified earlier. (Notice that one of the rhymes isn't a place.)
  • Practice and then perform verses for the rest of the class along with a karaoke accompanment if available.
  • Develop a line dance to go with the chorus of the song and add it to the overall performance.
This lesson, of course, will extend beyond a single 30-minute session. For rural kids especially, this song and activity could maintain quite a bit of interest. The places could also be rooms in a house, businesses, places in the body (for a creative science connection) and so forth. One caution: Don't make a big deal about students who have traveled on extended vacations and exotic places; not all families can afford such trips.

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