I Say It So

For Middle Level & Elementary

Materials: None

How To Play: Players sit in a circle. Leader establishes a steady, 4-beat tempo. To be sure all players are clear about the tempo, count aloud together "1 - 2 - 3 - 4" a few times and clap on each beat. While players keep the tempo going, the leader says:

"My name is / / / / (four beats)
I say it so:" (four beats)
{/ / / / / / / /}

{/ / / / / / / /} represents two 4-beat measures. In that part of the chant, the player says her name in a rhythmic way. Examples:

  • "Elizabeth Elizabeth" one syllable per beat.
  • "Jo, Jo, Jo, Jo, Jo, Jo, Jo" could be said with the name said twice per beat the first three beats, and once on the fourth beat.
  • A one-syllable name like Shawn could be drawn out to last 4 beats - the first sound could be drawn out through the first 3 beats: "Shhhhhhhhhawn"

After the player has said her name rhythmically, the group echoes it in the same rhythm. Repeat the cycle, going around the circle.

Plan for Success: Practice the tempo a couple of times without saying a name and then practice with one or two names before beginning the activity. As you model, use simple rhythms, but build in more rhythmic complexity as players appear ready for a challenge. HINT: Don't go too fast, and keep the tempo steady. Rushing is a natural tendency, so the leader can help keep the players at a steady tempo and/or address the tempo during game review.


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