When you’re working with beginning actors of varying abilities, encouraging participation can sometimes be difficult. However, many students are already accustomed to singing songs in a “repeat after me” style. This style of singing can create a safe environment for all to participate, and it is a good support for students who do not enjoy memorizing songs.
There are about a million campfire songs that work when teaching this style. Some well-known ones include:
- The Other Day I Met a Bear
- Bazooka Bubble Gum
- Down By the Bay
Feel free to use whatever campfire songs you know! Most of our favorites are from back in our own Girl Scout days! We’ve written out our top two favorite “repeat after me” songs below. We particularly like these ones because you can add a lot of dramatic flair to both of them! Having students play with voices, tempos, etc is a great way to sneak in more theatrical knowledge.
This repeat after me song also gives students the chance to use their voice to experiment with different dynamic and “sing with their hands” using the motions. We cannot take credit for this campfire song, but find our students enjoy being as dramatic as possible during the sad part — which usually follows by a lot of laughs and giggles. Add creative hand motions for more fun!
Hand motion tips:
- Moose – thumbs to temples like moose antlers
- Swimming – mock swimming
- Eating – mock bringing fork to mouth
- Where did he go? – arms to side, palms up
- Bed – hands tucked by ear and shoulder
LITTLE RED WAGON
This is another famous campfire song. Creativity is applied to take a basic framework and add as many verses and odd character voices as your students can think of. This repeat after me song gives students the opportunity to practice dynamic changes, tempo change, and repetition skills.
Use your imagination to talk like little old ladies, babies, dinosaurs, dogs, etc. Maybe as a cat, nobody uses words but simply “meows” through the rhythms. Playing with different characters and voices stretches acting skills.