Thursday, January 16, 2014


Choo - Choo - Choo - Choo!
    Oh no – you’re gonna think I’ve lost my mind (ha – you’re just thinking that now?)  I’m “Miss Carole” from Macaroni Soup: Active Music for Active Learners, and this month I am talking ACT-TIVE!  Have you and your kids spent too much time indoors lately?   THE GROUNDHOG JIVE will definitely get the jiggles out, wiggles going and giggles flowing!  There’s no tune to learn (it’s a rap), but ya gotta be able to count to 8 and keep the beat!
    My preschool classes started the New Year with the introduction of musical vocabulary words like PITCH, TEMPO, SCALE and OCTAVE.  The latter is where the number 8 becomes important.  We sang up and down the scale, and identified the 8 notes (octave) as our fingers walked from toe to head and back in “On My Toe There Is A Flea!”   
   Next step:  we clap a steady beat in 4/4 time, then do it again, double-time.  Now you’re ready for the piece de resistance:  THE GROUNDHOG JIVE!
To start:  Clap on the beat – quarter notes if you’re musically inclined – while counting:

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 (each number is a beat)  
Then faster (eighth notes!)
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8,  1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8!

Then rap:

Groundhog One said to Groundhog Two
Let’s all do the groundhog chew!
Choo – choo – choo – choo -- 
Choo – choo – choo -- choo (first 8 beats)
Motion for choo-ing: Open and close hands, lobster-claw style! 


Groundhog Two said to Groundhog Three
Let’s all climb the groundhog tree!
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8,  1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8!

Motion for counting: climb one hand high on each number!

Shut the door!

Groundhog Three said to Groundhog Four
Let’s all shut the groundhog door!
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8,  1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8!

Motion for counting: one arm stretched in front,
other arm opens and closes door by swinging arm to side, then clap hands together in front!

Dance Party!

Groundhog Four said to Groundhog Five
Let’s all do the Groundhog Jive!
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8,  1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8!
Motion for counting: dance move on each
beat, then let it rip in faster beat!

                                                                                                                                          Groundhog Five said to Groundhog Six
Pick up sticks!
Let’s all pick up groundhog sticks!
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8,  1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8!

Motion for counting: bend down and
pretend to pick up a stick – I do 1 down, 2 up, 3
down, 4 up, etc, then pick up on each number
In the faster section!

Dreaming of Groundhog Heaven!

Groundhog Six said to Groundhog Seven
Let’s all dream of groundhog heaven!
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8,  1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8!

Motion for counting: clasp hands in front of
body, and count VERY quietly – almost no sound!


Groundhog Seven said to Groundhog Eight
Let’s all do the groundhog skate!
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8,  1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8!

Motion for counting: push feet along floor in
skating motion, then faster!

Shine on!

Groundhog Eight said to Groundhog Nine
Let’s all do the groundhog shine!
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8,  1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8!

Motion for counting: flash hands upward on
each number, then faster!

Now that's attitude - eh eh eh!

Groundhog Nine said to Groundhog Ten
“Let’s not do this song again!
Eh eh eh, eh eh eh
Eh eh eh eh eh eh eh!

Motion: hook teeth over bottom lip and
wag finger (“no” style) on each eh!  Make
sure you’ve got plenty of attitude!

    I want to thank my good friend Margaret Hooton in Pennsylvania for introducing me to the Groundhog Jive.  We haven’t been able to find an author to credit – anyone know?  This is my take on the jive – add your own spin!
    Here’s a little primer on groundhogs – I have several great pictures I got off the internet – to introduce children to this peculiar creature.  I love some of the alternative names: Whistle Pig, Woodchuck, and Land Beaver!  Though we make a big deal about Puxatawney Phil and his shadow, the reality is that groundhogs come out of hibernation when it’s time to mate, not because they’re great meteorologists!  Since I don’t want to explain mating (go ahead - you open that can of worms), I’ve said “They wake up and come out when it’s time to look for a husband or wife!”  Nuf said!
     I admit I was daunted at first at the prospect of learning the whole thing – but it was actually quite easy – the rhymes are a great help.  BUT – if you need a little help, email me for a one-page cheat sheet.  Also, if you need a little help with the beat or any of the motions, send me an email with your phone number and I’ll call you.  Really!  And if you want to wait (please don't!) you'll find The Groundhog Jive on my next cd, coming out in the Fall.
     The day after I introduced this song, one of my young-ish colleagues commented, “That Groundhog Jive is quite a workout – my thighs hurt last night!”  Yep – and I did it in several classes!  But I have to say that the kids really love it – check out those smiling faces!
     NOTE:  If you’ve looking for ideas for Chinese New Year, which starts January 31st this year, check out my February 2013 blog, and several others here at PreK and K Sharing!  Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Yours for a Groundhog Jive!
Carole Stephens


  1. This is darling - and the kiddos look So Engaged and happy. Thank you for the crystal clear directions to this fun activity. Hopefully little groundhogs will be jiving all over our wintrified county! Brigid Finucane

  2. Thanks, Brigid. We worked up a sweat yesterday doing the Jive in all my 4 year old classes! Who needs Jazzercise after that!?!

  3. Thank you Carole! These lyrics are similar to the Beaver Call, a chant I heard on the Green Ghoulies website ... I bet both versions have been folk-processed by kids, camp counselors and teachers around the country! Your version is great.

  4. You betcha, Amy! I do a Beaver Call (on my Sticky Bubble Gum cd) but it is sung, shorter and therefore quite different. Margaret Hooton said she thinks this may have originally been beaver - but who knows! With not much great material for Groundhog Day - I sure like this adaptation!


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