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Smelly Towels

Teaching Steps

Introduce a new teaching step only when your students have mastered the others. You may not get through all these steps in one workshop. This song should be done sitting in a circle so that students can easily touch the floor.

  1. Teach each of the spoken parts (lines 2, 4 and 6) with the actions while counting:
    • Floor = touch floor
    • Patsch = tap both hands on lap
  2. Teach line 1 in solfa or using a neutral syllable like “ba”. Use Curwen hand signs or your own improvised gestures to help students follow the melody.
  3. Chant the words of line 1 while doing the actions:
    • Dropping towel = mime picking up a towel and dropping it on the beat
    • 4 fingers = hold up 4 fingers
  4. Put the words and melody of line 1 together using hand signs or gestures.
  5. Sing lines 1 and 2 with the actions.
  6. Teach line 3 in solfa or using a neutral syllable like “ba”. Use Curwen hand signs or your own improvised gestures to help students follow the melody.
  7. Chant the words of line 3 while doing the actions:
    • Gesture “no” = cross hands in front of your chest to indicate leave it/don’t touch/yuck
    • 3 then 2 fingers = hold up 3 fingers then 2 fingers
  8. Put the words and melody of line 3 together using hand signs or gestures.
  9. Sing lines 1 to 4 with the actions.
  10. Repeat lines 1 to 4 but tell the students to think the counts instead of saying them for lines 2 and 4.
  11. Repeat lines 1 to 4 but tell the students to think the actions and instead of performing them for lines 2 and 4.
  12. Teach line 5 in solfa or using a neutral syllable like “ba”. Use Curwen hand signs or your own improvised gestures to help students follow the melody.
  13. Chant the words of line 5 while doing the actions:
    • Wave hand = waft hand in front of face to indicate a bad smell
    • 4 then 3 fingers = hold up 4 fingers then 3 fingers
  14. Put the words and melody of line 5 together using hand signs or gestures
  15. Sing the full song with the actions.
  16. Repeat the full song but tell the students to think the counts instead of saying them for lines 2, 4 and 6.
  17. Repeat the full song but tell the students to think the actions and instead of performing them for lines 2, 4 and 6.