The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116247   Message #2495126
Posted By: Azizi
16-Nov-08 - 11:05 AM
Thread Name: Help: Songs for children's program
Subject: RE: Help: Songs for children's program
Continuing, I'd like to suggest that the Spirituals "This Little Light Of Mine" and "Don't Miss That Train" and probably others
can work well with children ages 6-12 years or older {as long as you are mindful that public schools may prohibit references to God or Jesus}.

I taught a modified version of the spiritual "Don't Miss That Train" in after-school or summer groups. This song helps children learn the names of the members of their group, if they don't already know them. The song goes like this {Sorry, I can't find a YouTube clip} :

Choo Choo Choo Choo
Choo Choo Choo Choo
Don't miss that tra-a-a-a-ain
Don't miss that tra-ain, child
Don't miss that tra-a-a-a-ain
Gotta be ready when I call your name

This is a unison song. I performed the song this way: I or some other "engineer" stood in place and then started imitating the movement of [choo choo] train. The children stand in around in a group singing that song along with "the engineer".

When the engineer sings the last line, she or he calls out the first name {or nickname}of a child from that group. That child then moves behind the engineer and the song begins again from the beginning. The child whose name has been called also imitates the train movements. That child, and others whose name the engineer called* would follow the engineer as she or he moves in zig zag fashion around the room or around the outside area. After the name of every child {or adult in attendance} has been called, meaning everyone is a part of the train, and the song ends with everyone following the engineer and singing the verse one last time, and ending it with an extended and louder form of the phrase "Choo Choooo!"

* The child whose name has been called could be the one to call out the name of the next child. However, I found that this usually didn't work because children tend to break the tempo of the song by pausing a long time while they figure out which person to call on next.