OK, I took an Orff course last year with Deanna Stark and learned a lot and I decided I really wanted to work with my kids on Borduns because A. Borduns allow students to create their own simple accompaniments. and B. Kids like xylophones and I can bribe them with them.
In Orff, we learned that a bordun or a drone involves playing one or two notes over and over again while singing a song. They work best when the song is pentatonic or uses the tonic note on all the strong beats.
Fortunately, there are about a billion songs that are pentatonic (only involve 5 scale notes, excluding fa and ti). Bee Bee Bumblebee, Charlie went over the ocean, Cobbler Cobbler, Wade in the water, etc. etc. So, if you teach the kids one simple bordun, you can have them sing thousands of songs or medleys using the same accompaniment. Here's a simple example, that I'm trying for the first time with my second and third graders:
Day 1: I taught the kids the song charlie over the ocean (google it), then taught them the circle game that goes with it (chase game: kid walks around the circle, tags another kid at end of song who tries to catch them before they can get to the second kids spot-like duck duck goose).
Day 2: I teach the kids the Bordun 1. You can change the key if you like.
Step 1-students pat half note beat on laps
Step 2-students play beat with both hands together on C and G.
Step 3-I sing while they play a few times (no singing kids!)
Step 4-Kids try and sing while playing simultaneously.
Day 3: I teach them Bordun 2 AKA: the oompah bordun
Step 1-take turns patting with the kids-I pat the bass, they pat the alto.
Step 2-split kids into two groups-Group 1-pat bass, Group 2-pat alto
Step 3-groups switch parts.
Step 4-repeat on the xylophones
OK, so I tried this, and so far it worked well, so I'm going to try it with 4th and
5th grades too and once we can do this on several songs, I'll try some more of those advanced things they taught us in Orff training.