Lesson 2: Exploring “Move Daniel”

Aim: How can we explore a steady beat and rhythmic patterns through the song “Move Daniel?”
Summary: Students learn the song “Move Daniel,” exploring the rhythmic pattern played by the stickman.
Materials: Musical Explorers CD or online audio, chart paper with rhythmic pattern symbols, paper towel rolls, markers and/or crayons
Standards: GA: MK-2GM.2, MK-2GM.3, MK-2GM.4, MK-2GM.6, MK-2GM.7, MK-2GM.8, MK-2GM.9, MK-2GM.10
SC: MGK-2.1, MGK-2.3, MGK-2.4, MGK-2.5, MGK-2.6
Vocabulary: steady beat, rhythm, stickman, rhythmic pattern, shouting


Listen to the Steady Beat and Rhythmic Patterns of “Move Daniel”

  • Listen to “Move Daniel,”  Track 8.
  • Explain to your students that the steady pulse we feel in music is called the steady beat. With students, practice keeping a steady beat by lightly tapping your lap, knees, or shoulders.
  • Rhythm is a pattern of long and short sounds. The rhythm of a song can change, but the steady beat remains the same.
  • Introduce the role of the stickman to your students. In the ring shout, the stickman taps a long stick (traditionally a broomstick) on a wooden floor. Instead of the steady beat, the stickman plays a rhythmic pattern of long and short sounds that repeats throughout the song.
  • Listen to “Move Daniel,”  Track 8

    and ask students to raise their hands when they hear the stickman’s rhythmic pattern played on the hardwood floor.


Learn Rhythmic Patterns in “Move Daniel”

  • Show the students the symbols on SG12.
    • What do you notice about what you see? Are there some parts that are the same or are they all different? 
  • In the pattern on SG12, the lines represent a long sound, and the circles represent a short sound. Clap the pattern together with the class slowly with Track 9

    and then faster with Track 10

    • Are all the sounds the same? What do you notice about the pattern of the sound? (e.g., some sounds are short, some sounds are long)
    • Before, we talked about keeping the steady beat. We kept the steady beat by patting our laps and shoulders. It was just one pat over and over again. What we hear in the stickman’s part is a rhythmic pattern. The stickman uses the rhythmic pattern as a “fancier” way of keeping the beat.  It is similar to the steady beat, because it also repeats over and over again and it keeps the music together.
  • Play the song again, Track 8
    and invite students to clap along to the stickman’s rhythm while the teacher points to the pattern on the board.

    • What is something that you notice about the stickman’s pattern as we move through the song? Does it stay at the same speed or does it change?
  • Ask students to create their own rhythmic pattern using the symbols. Invite a few students to share their rhythmic patterns on the board. Draw an example that differs from the original. Have the class clap the patterns they see.


Create Movement to “Move Daniel”

  • Watch a video of The McIntosh County Shouters
  • In the ring shout, shouting refers to the way people move to the music. The slaves who originally practiced the ring shout were not allowed to dance, so they took very small steps and made sure never to cross their feet over each other – anything more than that looked like dancing.
  • Lead students in creating a circle, with everyone facing the center. Walk to the right so they know the direction in which they will be moving. Invite students to shuffle facing the center of the circle the first time the rhythmic pattern is heard. When the pattern repeats, turn your body out slightly to the right and do the shuffle, then repeat, turning back to face the center of the circle.


Creative Extension: Learn About the Stickman

  • The stickman is a very important member of The McIntosh County Shouters. Brenton is the stickman; his rhythmic pattern helps hold the song together.
  • The songster and the basers clap along to his rhythm and add some of their own patterns, enhancing the music and liveliness of the song.
  • Ask students to think of someone in their family or community who plays an important role. This could be anyone from a parent to the mayor. Print SG13 and ask students to draw pictures on their stickman stick that represent that person and what they do for their family/community.
  • Invite students to play the rhythmic patterns they created using their stickman stick along with “Move Daniel” and “Kneebone Bend.”


Musical Word Wall

Add the words steady beat, rhythm, stickman, rhythmic pattern, and shouting to the Musical Word Wall.


PDF Downloads

SG12 ↓ Download File
SG13 ↓ Download File


Musical Explorers Audio Tracks