The first stage is to sing it with students holding hands and walking in a circle, then changing direction on the word “boom.”
The second is to sing the song in your head and keep the beat with your feet and again change direction on the word “boom.” This is great for kindergarten and first grade.
The third is to sing it as a three-part canon with three circles. The circles start walking in the same direction as they start to sing, and then change direction at different times as they each get to the “Boom.”
“Sally go round the sun
Sally go round the moon
Sally go round the chimney pot
Every afternoon. Boom!”
“I’ve been to Harlaam, I’ve been to Dover,
I’ve travelled this wide world all over.
Over, over, three times over,
Drink all you have to drink and turn the glasses over,
Sailing east, sailing west,
Sailing o’er the ocean.
Better watch out when the boat begins to rock
Or you’ll lose your girl in the ocean.”
Leader sings the song and demonstrates the sequence as follows:
“Little Johnny Brown, lay your comfort down”
—Strut into the circle and lay out a scarf or handkerchief (square is best) in the middle of the circle.
“Fold up the corner, Johnny Brown”
—Fold each corner precisely on the syllable “corn.”
“Show us the motion, Johnny Brown”
—Pick up the scarf and make a clear, repetitive motion. (Later, make sure that the group does not copy while singing this phrase.)
“We can do the motion, Johnny Brown”
—The whole group imitates the motion.
“Take it to your friend now, Johnny Brown”
—Strut over to someone else and hand over the scarf. That person now goes into the centre and the whole song starts again.
Continue playing until everyone has had a turn. If the group is too big, there can be several Johnny Browns (each with a handkerchief) going in the centre at once, with the remaining people in the circle choosing whose motion they want to copy.