Study Guide Lesson III

Organization of Lessons I-III
Lesson I: Pre-K
Lesson II: Grades K-2
Lesson III: Grades 3-5
Song Catching Worksheet
Song Survey Sheet (download PDF)
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GRADE LEVELS:   Grades 3-5

CURRICULUM AREAS:   Language Arts, Social Studies, Music, Dance, Physical Education

TIME REQUIRED  1 to 3 class periods


  • “Little Sally Walker”
  • “A Tiskit, A Taskit


  • Bullfrog Jumped songs and lyrics accessed on the web site or CD
  • Computer with speakers or CD player
  • Printouts of any worksheets you will be using
  • Audio or video recorder (optional)


Familiar songs spark memories of childhood songs and play, which will teach students that everyone has folklore and they themselves are cultural experts. They can also conduct research to compare the folk songs and games across generations by acting as “song catchers.”


English Language Arts Students will:

3.1.) Use a wide range of strategies to interpret, evaluate, appreciate, and construct meaning from print materials.
3.7.) Use literary analysis.
3. 9.) Choose to read a variety of literature representative of various genres.
3. 14.) Develop an understanding of cultural similarities and differences noted through exposure to multicultural literature.
3. 33.) Organize and present information in visual, oral, and/or print format.
4. 15.) Describe cultural similarities and differences through exposure to multicultural literature.
5. 10.) Read and view literature representative of various cultures, eras, genres, and ideas to develop an appreciation of their heritage and that of others.
5. 13.) Apply strategies of a skillful listener.

Social Studies Students will:

4. 6.) Identify cultural, economic, and political aspects of the lifestyles of early nineteenth-century farmers, plantation owners, slaves, and townspeople.
4.10.) Discussing cultural contributions from various regions of Alabama that contributed to the formation of a state heritage

Mathematics Students will:

4. 17.) Represent numerical data using tables and graphs, including bar graphs and line graphs.

Music Students will:

3. 1.) Sing a varied repertoire of age-appropriate music alone and with others.
3.3) Sing songs representing diverse cultures.
3. 5.) Sing expressively.
3. 32.) Create variations and accompaniments.
3. 33.) Express musical ideas using creative movement, body percussion, classroom instruments, body sounds, and vocal sounds.
3. 35.) Compose accompaniments to songs, poems, stories, and dramatizations.
3. 40.) Identify relationships between music and the other arts as well as disciplines outside of the arts.
3. 41.) Correlate music in relation to history and culture.

Dance Students will:

3. 1.) Demonstrate proper body alignment.
3. 6.) Demonstrate accuracy in moving to a musical beat and responding to changes in accents.
3. 7.) Perform movements at high, middle, and low levels from the floor.
3. 18.) Demonstrate improvisation, leading, following, and mirroring
3. 19.) Demonstrate the ability to work alone and cooperatively with others in creating and learning dances.
3. 29.) Analyze and perform folk and/or classical dances from America and various cultures.
3. 30.) Discuss the role and importance of dance in various cultures
3. 33.) Create dances using another art form as the motivator.

Physical Education Students will:

3. 1.) Demonstrate skills, including leaping and skipping, using mature motor patterns.
3. 2.) Demonstrate developmentally appropriate levels of non-locomotor skills with transfer of weight.
4. 1.) Demonstrate mature form of all non-locomotor skills, including twisting, turning, leaning, stretching, curling, bending, swinging, balancing, and transferring of weight.


TO PREPARE         

Teachers should think of songs and games from childhood to share with students. Review and adapt lesson procedures to suit curricular needs and students’ abilities. Listen to and learn the songs and print out any worksheets you will be using.


Young people are experts on their own folklore, which of course includes many songs and games. They know well how to negotiate rules, keep a game going, master new skills, take risks, teach, and learn new songs and games. In this lesson, students also call upon the knowledge of people of different ages through surveys and interviews.


Song 1: Little Sally Walker
Mozella Longmire, Atmore, July 10, 1947

See notes on the history of this song.

Little Sally Walker, sitting in a saucer,
Rise, Sally, rise.
Now wipe your rosy cheek
And put your hand on your hip
And let your back-bone slip.
Oh shake it to the east; shake it to the west,
Shake it to the very one that you love the best.

Little Sally Walker, sitting in a saucer,
Rise, Sally, rise.
Now wipe your rosy cheek
And put your hand on your hip
And do the Mobile dip.
Oh shake it to the east; shake it to the west,
Shake it to the very one that you love the best.

Directions:  Children stand in a ring around one child who sits or squats in the center.  As the others sing, “Sally” rises and acts out the words to the song. When  she shakes it “to the very one that you love the best,” that person goes into the center. The game begins again and continues until everyone has had a chance to be little Sally Walker.

Play and/or sing “Little Sally Walker” and ask students to listen carefully. You may print out the lyrics for students to share in pairs or individually so they can follow more closely. Talk about the song.

  • How many know this song? Do they sing the words differently? Is the tune the same? Ask students to sing their versions.
  • Do they know movements or games for the song? Ask students to demonstrate.
  •  Do they think this is a girls’ song, a song for younger children, an old song, a new song?
  • Sing the song as a class so that everyone learns it.
  • Younger students will want to play the game that accompanies the lyrics.

Explain that this song was taught by children to other children, not in a music class. It is a traditional folk song, passed along from person to person. Folk songs are not learned in formal academic settings such as schools or music academies but within folk groups such as ,families, neighbors, friends. Folks songs also have many variations. Share the names of some songs from your childhood to start discussion.

  • What are some songs students have learned outside school, for example, “Happy Birthday,” lullabies, or TV jingle parodies? Who taught them?
  • Ask students to sing or write the lyrics to songs they have learned from family or friends, not from movies or television. The words should be appropriate for the classroom!
  • Students may also write a list of songs they know.
  • Share examples in a class discussion and sing-along.

Games and play are another hallmark of children’s folklore and a rich topic for writing because students know the subject thoroughly. Share games from your childhood to start discussion.

  • What are some games students play? How did they learn them? Where do they play them? With whom? Do words or songs accompany any?
  • Brainstorm a class list of childhood games, stopping to discuss categories, variations, rules, sequence, boundaries. How many types of tag do they list?
  • Ask students to choose one game, song, or memory of childhood play and either write about it or draw a picture. Give students about 15 minutes and then ask them to pair off and share their written story or the story of their drawing with a partner. The partner should listen closely and ask three questions, which the teller should write down. Then partners should switch.
  • Ask pairs to report out. They have just practiced interviewing!
  • Now have students interview each other about childhood songs. They should team up and use the Bullfrog Jumped Song Catching Worksheet. Discuss what they learned and as homework ask students to write what surprised them most bout their interviews.

Just like the women on Bullfrog Jumped who loved singing their songs, everyone enjoys songs from childhood. Tell students they will be song catchers. They can begin by collecting childhood songs from school personnel and students using the Bullfrog Jumped Song Catching Worksheet. Then they can collect songs from family members and neighbors. They may use audio recorders, write the lyrics, or learn the songs themselves to share in class. Working in teams students can organize a song catchers’ presentation to the class. They can polish this for a family night or school presentation.

Song 2: A Tisket, A Tasket
Mozella Longmire, Atmore, July 10, 1947

See notes on the history of this song.

A tisket, a tasket, a green and yellow basket,
I wrote a letter to my mother; on the way I dropped it.
I dropped it, I dropped it, I dropped it ‘til I lost it
I want someone to help me find it and make me happy again.

Oh gee, I wonder where my basket can be.
So do we, so do we, so do we, so do we.

A tisket, a tasket, a brown and yellow basket
I wrote a letter to my mother, on the way I dropped it.
I want someone to help me find it and make me happy again.

Directions: Children stand in a circle and one is chosen to skip around the circle and drop a ribbon or other small item behind someone’s back.  That person picks it up at the end of the song and skips around the circle as the song starts over again.  The game continues until everyone has had a chance to drop the “basket.”  Each time, the singers may change the colors of the basket.

This song has circulated widely through recordings by popular singers and jazz vocalists. Ella Fitzgerald’s may be the best-known version today, but this was a song children sang in many places, not just Alabama, before it crossed over to popular culture. Do children sing it today? Different generations will know different versions, making this a good song to introduce an intergenerational song catching survey.

Play and/or sing “A Tisket, A Tasket.”

  • How many students know this song? Do they sing the words differently? Is the tune the same? Ask students to sing their versions.
  • Do they know movements or games for the song? Ask students to demonstrate.
  •  Do they think this is a girls’ song, a song for younger children, an old song, a new song? Why?

After everyone learns the song, assign a survey as homework for students to research how many people know “A Tisket, A Tasket” (or “Little Sally Walker”). They may use the Bullfrog Jumped Song Survey  or make a chart on notebook paper to record data, noting whether people have heard the song, can sing the song, their age, and their gender. Students can graph their findings individually and as a class. Find a detailed lesson on generational music communities, including survey forms, on Louisiana Voices,



When we share songs, we often change them, either on purpose or by accident. Our version might differ from another’s. We might insert a local place name or mispronounce a word, and these become part of the song in our memories. On Bullfrog Jumped, Mozell Longmire put the “Mobile Dip” in her version of “Little Sally Walker.” This was probably a local dance move named after the nearest large city to Atmore. We forget whole stanzas or write new ones. That’s the assignment in this case. Playing upon their imagination, local lore, or news of the day, ask students to write a new stanza for a Bullfrog Jumped song. The meter and rhyme scheme should match the original. They may work in pairs or individually and should share by singing their new stanzas. After some editing, assemble students’ new stanzas with some of the original stanzas and learn the song by heart as a class. Take the song on the road to share with other classes, the music specialist, the principal, and family members at back-to-school night. Record a version for a class memento.

Students can continue their song catching by researching childhood songs and games in more depth. They can use the Bullfrog Jumped Song Catching Worksheet or adapt survey worksheets from a Louisiana Voices lesson on childhood play, Sharing songs and games they know will spark their interviewees’ memories. Students will be surprised at the similarities and differences they find. Songs and games they believe are unique to them are often shared by other generations.

What other things besides songs and games have students learned outside a formal school setting? For example, how did they learn to tie their shoes, play tic tac toe, or skateboard? What have they taught someone else, perhaps a sibling or friend? Ask students to choose a skill and sequence it step-by-step. They can do this by making a list and editing it so that it is chronological or by making a storyboard. Or they can write a short reflection on how they learned a skill. Who taught them, what does it mean to them? They can also write about teaching someone else a skill. Set aside time for everyone to demonstrate and teach their skills.

Screen part of Pizza, Pizza, Daddy-O, a film of African American girls singing and playing games on a Los Angeles playground, free How many of the games are familiar to your students? What are the differences and similarities of these girls’ games and the games children at your school play? What do boys play? What do girls and boys play together? If a filmmaker were coming to your school, what song or game would your class choose to be documented? Have students act out the making of a film about songs and play at your school. Better yet, make a video of students singing and playing to share with the whole school and families!



Products: lyrics to songs they know, song lists, drawings, reflections, graphs, audio recordings, worksheets, surveys, presentations
Participation: singing, playing games, moving, telling stories, drawing, discussion, interviewing, audio and video recording, creating presentations
Products of Extensions: new stanzas, writings and demonstrations of skills, a song and game video