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:MK-2GM.1, MK-2GM.4, MK-2GM.6, MK-2GM.7, MK-2GM.8, MK-2GM.9, MK-2GM.10
SC: MGK-2.1, MGK-2.4, MGK-2.5, MGK-2.6
Vocabulary: rhythm, percussion family, Creole

Explore the Steady Beat and Rhythmic Patterns in “Allons a LaFayette”

  • Listen to “Allons a Lafayette,” cdicon_22px Track 20
  • Invite students to describe what they hear in the music (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.


Allons a Lafayette

Let’s go to Lafayette to change your name
Let’s go to Grand Coteau* so we can cut up
Little girl, little girl, little girl you are too much
Let’s go to Grand Coteau so we can cut up
Little girl, little girl, little girl you are too much
Let’s go to Lafayette to change your name

*Grand Coteau is a city in Louisiana, just south of Opelousas, where Jeffery lives.


Explore Rhythmic Patterns in “Allons a Lafayette”

  • Rhythm is a pattern of long and short sounds that are in a song.
  • Ask your students to listen to “Allons a Lafayette” and listen for different rhythmic patterns in the song.
  • Using clapping or tapping, ask your students to perform the rhythmic patterns they hear or create their own rhythmic pattern.


Explore Tempo Through Movement in “Hard to Stop”

  • Review the zydeco instruments on SG17, especially the frottoir.
  • Many zydeco musicians wear the frottoir on their body as a vest.
  • Watch Jefferey’s brother play the vest frottoir.
  • Using SG18, 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 SG19, examine pictures of percussion family instruments used in zydeco music.


pencilWriting Workshop: 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 rhythm, percussion family, and Creole to the Musical Word Wall.


PDF Downloads

SG17 ↓ Download File
SG18 ↓ Download File
SG19 ↓ Download File


Musical Explorers Audio Tracks