Lesson 2: Learning “Allons a Lafayette”

Aim: How can we explore rhythmic patterns with the song “Allons a Lafayette?”

Summary: Students learn to sing and move along to “Allons a Lafayette” while building vocabulary to describe rhythmic patterns.

Materials: Musical Explorers CD or online audio, markers or crayons, yarn, scissors, cardstock, hole puncher

Time Required: 40 minutes (two 10-minute activities and one 20-minute activity)

Standards: GA: ESGMK-2.CR.1; ESGMK-2.CR.3; ESGMK-2.PR.1; ESGMK-2.PR.2; ESGMK-2.RE.1; ESGMK-2.RE.2; ESGMK-2.RE.3; ESGMK-2.CN.1; ESGMK-2.CN.2,
SC: MGK-2.1, MGK-2.4, MGK-2.5, MGK-2.6

Vocabulary: Creole, percussion family, rhythm


Review the Steady Beat in “Allons a LaFayette”

  • Listen to “Allons a Lafayette,”  Track 25.
  • Invite students to describe what they hear in the music (e.g. man singing, instruments, foreign language, steady beat, fast tempo).
  • In this song, Jeffery is singing in French Creole. Zydeco musicians sing in both English and French Creole. Read the English translation to students.
  • Listen again and encourage students to try to sing along and tap the steady beat on their bodies along with the music.

Explore Rhythmic Patterns in “Allons a Lafayette”

  • Review the concept of rhythm with your students, p.25.
  • Ask your students to listen for different rhythmic patterns in “Allons a Lafayette.”
  • Using clapping or tapping, ask your students to perform the rhythmic patterns they hear or create their own rhythmic pattern.
  • Play a game with rhythmic patterns: Have your students stand in a circle and “pass” rhythmic patterns from person to person. If a student can’t create a pattern in time with the steady beat, he or she will step out of the circle or sit down. The last person standing wins!

Explore Instruments in Zydeco Music: Frottoirs and Percussion Instruments

  • Review the zydeco instruments on SG43, especially the frottoir.
  • Many zydeco musicians wear the frottoir on their body as a vest.
  • Visit savannahmusicfestival.org/musicalexplorers to see a video of a musician playing the vest frottoir.
  • Using SG44, have students use the materials to make their own vest frottoir.
  • Play “Allons a LaFayette” again. Have students play their vest frottoirs along with Jeffery.
  • Using SG45, examine pictures of percussion family instruments used in zydeco music.

Creative Extension: Let’s Start a Zydeco Band!

Our class is starting a zydeco band. Which instrument would you like to play in the band and why? Illustrate our class zydeco band.

Cultural Connection: Learn About Creole

Zydeco is connected most closely to the rural Creole people of southwest Louisiana. The Creole people are descendants of the Native Americans who originally lived in Louisiana, and of the Haitian, African, French and Spanish people who came to settle there. The Creole people often sang in their own language known as Louisiana Creole French. Their unique party music evolved into zydeco over time.

Musical Word Wall

Add the words Creole, percussion family, and rhythm to the Musical Word Wall.


PDF Downloads

SG43 ↓ Download File

SG44 ↓ Download File

SG45 ↓ Download File


Musical Explorers Audio Tracks

“Allons a Lafayette”


Go to Zydeco Music Unit Music Assessment