Using “Galloping Song” to teach “Apples and Oranges”

Today I taught a lesson to Head Start 3 – 5 year olds on locomotor movement (traveling movement).  This is my 10th lesson with the children.  They have demonstrated competence in body control and concentration, learned about speed, energy, body shapes, direction in space, and successfully moved around the circle line flying as birds (Little Birds from Songs for Dancing).

I felt they would be successful moving alternately, as two groups, with one group watching or dancing on their spot while the other traveled around the circle line.  I wanted to teach Apples and Oranges from Step on the Beat and wanted to ‘front-load’ the lesson (that means teach the necessary prerequisite information)  to help them take turns traveling by galloping.

I began by showing a picture of a horse and asking how horses moved.  After we got the 4-legged demonstrations out of the way, I asked what kind of movement people did that horses do.  We finally got to ‘gallop.’  The child who named gallop demonstrated a gallop inside the circle line, as everyone watched.  Sometimes the child did it with me, to demonstrate the necessary body control for returning to his home spot, and I used this rhyme, sung to the tune of This is the way we wash our clothes:

One foot leads, the other chases,

As we go to different places.

One foot leads, the other chases,

Then we end on our spot.

Everyone got up, and we did it together.  Then I split the circle into two halves.

Using Galloping Song, I lead each group around in one line of direction. We passed behind the seated group waiting to take its turn.  I asked the sitters to be in Ready Position (criss cross applesauce), hands in front, so as not to be galloped on by their peers.  And when we returned to our spots, body control!  (I wouldn’t dream of mentioning baseball slides….otherwise I’d plant the seed of that diabolical idea.)


We then moved to learning Apples and Oranges.  First, I named the first group of ‘horses’ as ‘Apples.’  I literally touched each child in that group on the shoulder and said “You’re an apple, and you’re an apple…..” and named the oranges the same way.  I checked for understanding by having each group raise their hands when I named their fruit.

Time to learn the dance.  I could quickly teach slap and clap, since they already do Clap Along Song (Step On the Beat) regularly.  We turned around on our spot, instead of taking hands to travel.  Note: This is a super easy way to work.  No muss or fuss with holding hands or traveling along the circle line.  A great solution to doing this dance with young children.   (Further Note: A good solution for Here We Go Round and Round (Songs for Dancing) too.  Turn one way on your spot, and the other.  Remember to tell your feet to stay when you are done turning!)

Then, I lead the Apples around, galloping in one line of direction, while the Oranges stayed. Next time it was Oranges turn.
On the repeat, we galloped in the opposite line of direction.

Fun and satisfying!  Nice to end that session with Resting (Songs for Dancing).

February 6, 2013. Tags: , , . Creative Dance Lesson Plans, Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, What to do with...., Working with Kate's Material.


  1. Sammy replied:

    Hiya! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile
    friendly? My blog looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone.
    I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to correct this problem.

    If you have any recommendations, please share. Thanks!

    • Kate Kuper replied:

      Hi Sammy,
      I just read your comment about making the site mobile friendly.
      I opened it on my iphone to look
      Try scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the page to get to the categories and archives.
      See if that helps.
      I haven’t been asked this before and do my posting and reading from my laptop.
      I’ll see about addressing this problem when I have time…in a few months.
      If anyone else has a solution, please share.

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