Land of the silver birch,
Home of the beaver,
Where still the mighty moose wanders at will.
Blue lake and rocky shore,
I will return once more.
Boom di dee boom boom, Boom di dee boom boom,
Boom di dee boom boom boom.
I think it is so important to play and sing Native American songs! Where I live, students don’t see Native Americans regularly, so many of them think there are no more Native Americans in the USA! We must remind them of their rich heritage. I play a recording of traditional Native American music. We name the instruments we hear (usually drum and shakers) and the voices: men. This is a good song to play – and eventually show the video. Some Native Americans are dressed in native clothing, and others in street clothes. It’s helpful to tell the students (if they don’t know any Native Americans personally) that Native Americans look just like we do!
In the 2nd grade world music unit, I teach:
- Abiyoyo – South Africa
- Mama Paquita – Brazil
- Bate Bate – Mexico
- Land of the Silver Birch – Native American (USA)
We compare and contrast the songs by language, timbre, tempo, melody, mood, etc. I ask the students to tell a partner which is his/her favorite song and why. (They are encouraged to use some of the words we previously discussed: high, low, fast, slow, names of instruments, type of voice used: man, woman, child.)
- partner songs
- harmony: partner song with Canoe Song
- Native American songs
- minor / modal songs
- songs with half notes
- steady beat songs
- songs with Orff arrangements
- songs with I IV V chords
- Pow Wow Music
- Pow Wow
- Black Hills Pow Wow
- more songs about nature
- songs from different world regions here
- This DVD good examples of Pow Wow. And, it teaches the kids how to do simple pow wow steps in slow motion. I have the kids put their “bubbles” on and try both the men’s and women’s dance steps. They are harder than they look!
(I show the kids how well the drum players can play on the steady beat – all together – see Pow Wow Music link below.) Then we add steady beat to drums as we sing the next song. I like using the gathering drum I have – with about 6 students per drum.
Extras for Plus Members
(or available for purchase here)
Printable & Digital Visuals
- World Music Assessment
Song with chords, Lesson ideas, Partner Song with Canoe Song, Orff Arrangement (PDF)
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