Lesson 1: Learning “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog”

Aim: How can we explore fast and slow tempos in “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog?”
Summary: Students learn to sing and move along to “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog” while building vocabulary to describe musical opposites.
Materials: Musical Explorers CD or online audio, markers or crayons
Time required: 40 minutes (four 10-minute activities)
Standards: MK-2GM.1, MK-2GM.6, MK-2GM.7, MK-2GM.6, MK-2GM.9, MK-2GM.10
SC: MGK-2.1, MGK-2.2, MGK-2.3, MGK-2.5, MG6
Vocabulary: tempo, adagio, allegro, bodhrán

Meet Harry

  •  Meet Harry on SG31.


Sing “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog”

  • Listen to “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog”  ( Track 22).
  • Invite students to share what they hear in the music (e.g., a man is singing, there is a drum, the music is fast and exciting, he sings about trees and animals).
  • Invite students to sing along with “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog.”


Explore Musical Opposites in “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog”

  • Listen to a portion of the song once more.
    • Tempo is how fast or slow a song is.
  • Two musical words for different tempos are adagio (uh-DAH-joh), which means slow, and allegro (uh-LEG-roh), which means fast.
  • Ask students to listen for when the song is adagio or allegro.
  • While they listen, ask students to tap along with the steady beat to feel when the piece is fast or slow.


Sing and Move to “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog”

  • Students examine pictures of things found in a bog on SG32.
  • “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog” is an Irish song about a bog, a wet swampy place where lots of plants and animals live. Each time we sing through the song, we add on another thing that is found in the bog.
  • With students, create a simple motion or movement that represents each item in the song. Go through the sequence of items once with just motions. Next, sing the song while performing the motions at the same time.

O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog

O’ro the rattlin’ bog, the bog down in the valley-o,
O’ro the rattlin’ bog, the bog down in the valley-o.Verse 1
And in that bog, there was a tree, a rare tree, a rattlin’ tree,
With the tree in the bog, and the bog down in the valley-o. (Chorus)Verse 2
And on that tree, there was a limb, a rare limb, a rattlin’ limb,
With the limb on the tree, and the tree in the bog, and the bog down in the valley-o. (Chorus)Verse 3
And on that limb, there was a branch, a rare branch, a rattlin’ branch, …(Chorus)

Verse 4
And on that branch, there was a twig, a rare twig, a rattlin’ twig, …(Chorus)


Verse 5
And on that twig, there was a nest, a rare nest, a rattlin’ nest, …(Chorus)Verse 6
And in that nest, there was an egg, a rare egg, a rattlin’ egg, …(Chorus)

Verse 7
And in that egg, there was a bird, a rare bird, a rattlin’ bird, …(Chorus)

Verse 8
And on that bird, there was a feather, a rare feather, a rattlin’ feather, …(Chorus)

Verse 9
And on that feather, there was a flea, a rare flea, a rattlin’ flea, …(Chorus)


Creative Extension: Learn About the Bodhrán

    • A bodhrán is an Irish frame drum. Listen again to “O’ro the Rattlin’ Bog” ( Track 22), which features the bodhrán. Refer to SG33 for students to learn about the bodhrán.


  • Discuss what students notice about the sound of the bodhrán (e.g., it’s very rhythmic, it helps to keep the beat in the music, it sounds high, it sounds low).
  • Look at the picture of Harry with a bodhrán on SG33.
    • What do you notice about the drum?
  • Students can decorate their own bodhrán with Celtic symbols on SG33.


Musical Word Wall

Add the words tempo, adagio, allegro, and bodhrán to the Musical Word Wall.


PDF Downloads

SG31 ↓ Download File
SG32 ↓ Download File
SG33 ↓ Download File


Musical Explorers Audio Tracks