Run From The Farmer | Free Music Lesson Plan (Syncopation)

from the Lesson Zone

Run From the Farmer is a wacky Thanksgiving song told from the perspective of the turkey. It is always a big hit with 2nd and 3rd grade music students.


Students will be introduced to syncopation. This lesson is designed to fulfill Standard #5 of the National Standards for Music: Reading and notating music.


Run from the Farmer Sheet Music with Chords
Run from the Farmer Orff Orchestration


Oh it's one gobble,
Two gobbles,
Three gobbles, four.

We will run from the farmer
for there's no time to snore.

'Round and round we go,
All 'round the coup.

Run from the farmer,
do the loop di-de-loop.

'Run From The Farmer' Music Lesson Plan

Run from the Farmer provides a wonderful opportunity to teach syncopation.

Step 1
Introduce the music term syncopation. It may be enough to say that syncopation is a music term for jazzy rhythm. In fourth or fifth grade you can define it a little further.

Step 2
Teach the song to the students as a chant first working through it phrase by phrase.

Step 3
Write the syncopated rhythm on the board. Tell them, "I will clap the rhythm for you and then I would like you to clap it back to me." Clap rhythm. Check for understanding and accuracy. Repeat if necessary.

Step 4
Tell your students, "This jazzy rhythm is played and sung several times during this song. I will perform the song for you. Your job is to count how many times you hear it." You may need to help them understand that they are not counting each note but instead the four note rhythmic motive. Repeat the syncopated rhythm one more time and then perform the song. Check for understanding and repeat if necessary.

Step 5
Tell students, "I will play the song this time while you clap the rhythmic pattern each time it occurs in the song. You do not have to sing it this time." Check for understanding and repeat if necessary.

Step 6
Students clap the syncopated rhythm and sing at the same time. Check for understanding and repeat if necessary.

Step 7
Teach the Orff orchestration. You may prefer to have one half of the class play the G chord (G-B), and one half of the class play the C chord (C-E). (The Orff instrument part calls for glockenspiel, though hand held chimes and/or xylophones are great too.)

Step 8
Teach the dance. Each time the rhythm occurs, the students should clap it. Periodically quiz the students as you teach the dance, asking them to define the term or read and clap the rhythm written on the board.

'Run From The Farmer' Dance

Students stand around the classroom in random formation.

One Gobble, two gobbles, three gobbles, four,

Partners face each other and perform this four beat pattern:

Pat Knees - Clap Hands - Hands on Partners Hands - Clap Hands

We will run from the farmer for there's no time to snore.

Partners grasp hands and move forward to the right and back, then forward to the left and back.

'Round and 'round we go, all round the coup,

Partners lock arms and run in a clockwise motion.

Run from the farmer do the loop-di-de-loop.

Partners grasp hands and raise them to an arch. Both partners pivot in place moving under the arch and back to their original position.

Step 9
Divide the class into dancers and mallet players. Perform the song and switch.

Have fun with this song and dance. If you're brave, you could even try speeding it up for a little extra kookiness!

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