Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Introduction to Call and Response

Latoya McCormick
Polk County Schools


Students listen to, sing, and dramatize call and response songs. They deomonstrate expressive singing in performing call and response while moving and playing instruments.


The student sings simple songs (e.g., folk, patriotic, nursery rhymes, rounds, and singing games) with appropriate tone, pitch, and rhythm, with and without accompaniment.

The student reads simple rhythmic and melodic notation, using traditional and nontraditional symbols.

The student knows how to respond to selected characteristics of music (e.g., the melodic phrase is the same or different, the tempo is fast or slow, and the volume is loud or soft) through appropriate movement.


-Music Connection-Kindergarten CD#6 (Beethoven. The Music Connection. Morristown, NJ. Silver Burdette Ginn.1995.)
-Music Connection-2nd grade CD#2 (Beethoven. The Music Connection. Morristown, NJ. Silver Burdette Ginn.1995.)
-CD player
-Sand blocks
-Rhythm sticks


Put the Music Connection-Kindergarten CD#6 and the Music Connection-2nd grade CD#2 in the CD player. Put all rhythm instruments in a box next to the CD player.


1. Greet students at the door and direct them to sit in three rows facing the
CD player.

2. Play "Certainly Lord" CD#6 track 23.

3. Explain to students that this song is known as a call-and-response because
one person or group sings a question and another person or group
answers the question. Explain that it requires cooperation in order to
sound right and make sense.

4. Have students listen to a musical conversation. Help them discover the
questions and answers while playing the first verse of "Did You Feed My
Cow?" CD#6 track 21. Reinforce cooperation and working together.

5. Direct students to walk in a circle as they listen. When the response
part of the song comes, have students stop and and clap their hands.
Remind them that they must cooperate and work together to get the movement
in sync as well as the sound of the clapping.

6. Teach students the pantomimes for each response:
Squish: pantomime milking a cow
Uh: pantomime feeling sick
Flop: flap arms like a bird

7. Direct students to add sound effects for each verse using rhythm
instruments. Verse 2: Sand Blocks, Verse 3: Rhythm Sticks, Verse 4:

8. Divide the students into three groups. As Group 1 sings the song, Group 2
pantomimes and Group 3 adds accompaniment. Do this three times so every
child participates in all three groups.

9. Collect all the rhythm instruments.

10. To help with the idea of a solo singing the call and chorus singing the
response, play "Bamnqobile" from CD#2 track 10. Give background
information on this African song.

11. Play the song again and have students keep the beat in their laps when the
soloist is singing and clap their hands when the chorus sings the response.

12. Congratulate students on a job well done and line the students up at the


Observe students to check tone, pitch, and rhythm, as well as to determine if students know when to pantomime or play instruments in the songs. Observe students to see if they are cooperatively working toward creating a successful sound. Assist students who have difficulty or pair students to gain success for all. Students need feedback and guidance as they work on these skills.
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