Michael Row the Boat Ashore | Free Music Lesson Plan (Call and Response)

from the Lesson Zone


Grade 1-3


Students will demonstrate Call and Response


Recording of Michael Row the Boat Ashore
24 sets rhythm sticks

'Michael Row the Boat' Ashore Music Lesson Plan

Step 1
Introduce call and response describing call as the question and response as the answer.

Step 2
Teach students to sing each call and response phrase together as a class.

Step 3
Divide the class into two groups: Call Group and Response Group

Step 4
One group poses the question (call) and one group offers the answer (response).

Step 5
Sing the song through and then switch the groups.

Step 6
Ask questions:

"Which part are you singing?"
"Why does the call sound like a question and the response sound like an answer?"
"Does Michael Row the Boat Ashore always have a response following the call?"

Step 7

Play the following melody from Mozart's Symphony No.40:


Step 8
Ask students if they can hear the call and response phrases as you play the example. Why do the phrases sound like questions and answers?

Step 9
Students sit in boats (3 or 4 students to a boat, sitting one behind the other with legs crossed).

Step 10
Pass out the oars (rhythm sticks). Each student gets 2 oars.

Step 11
Teacher tells class they will be performing one movement for the call and another for the response. Students will row during the call. Teacher demonstrates movement for the call, rowing one stroke per measure.

Step 12
Students perform the rowing movement with the recording for the call each time it is heard. Teacher guides the practice.

Step 13
Teacher demonstrates the movement for the response. Tap the rhythm sticks over your head at the beginning of each measure and then lower them to your side.

Step 14
Students perform the song again with the movement to the response. Teacher guides the practice.

Step 15
Students perform Michael Row the Boat Ashore independently to demonstrate understanding.

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