If you want a cute, quick way to warmup students’ voices or a song that assesses singing sol-mi, Yoo Hoo is for you. My littles love this song. We talk about what an echo is, the science behind what causes them, and even get a visit from our friend Copy Cat!
I use Copy Cat to encourage my students to sing. Often times they feel more comfortable to sing for our furry friend than their classmates. They are also so excited when Copy Cat comes to see them (he sits in their lap or on their desk when it’s their turn), so they don’t think twice about singing loud and proud!
I have added a link to purchase your own Copy Cat below. This is not a paid advertisement and I do not receive any commission for the link.
Suggested Grade Levels: Prekindergarten, Kindergarten, 1st grade, 4th grade
As with many songs, the origin of this one is elusive. The earliest mention I have been able to find of it comes from a 1966 Australian children’s television show called Play School. Peter Charlton is listed as the composer of There’s Someone Living on a Big High Hill.
While it is possible this was the original public debut of the song, it is not certain if it existed prior to its television airing. The song’s echo portion, or “yoo hoo,” alludes to yodeling which is a tradition that is most commonly attributed to Switzerland.
This game is incredibly simple. Students sit either at their tables or in a circle. All may sing the melody with the teacher or song leader but must be the echo when it is their turn, whether as a group or an individual.
In my classroom, I either sing the student’s name if I want them to echo individually (example: “There’s someone living on a big high hill, I wonder who it could be? Johnny’s living on a big high hill and always echoes me”) or place our Copy Cat puppet on their table or in their lap. When I use Copy Cat, sometimes he jumps around so that on each repetition a new student gets to echo “yoo hoo.” The kids love this and wait eagerly for their super fast turn.
–Experiencing an anacrusis
–Leadership when initiating “yoo hoo”
–Singing a half note
–Advanced recorder melody
–Gossard, B. (2019, June 1). Big high hill | echo song (great for distance learning) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2J7JPbp8k8
–Rosevear, D. (2015, June 23). There’s someone living on a big, high hill – an echo game [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P83K6PLHkCs
–Sheehy, D. (October 2013). Where did yodeling originate? Smithsonian Magazine. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/where-did-yodeling-originate-and-more-questions-from-our-readers-23993/
–Thompson, B. (n.d.). Yoo hoo. Beth’s Notes. https://www.bethsnotesplus.com/2015/04/yoo-hoo.html
–TVDB. (n.d.). Elephants – Thursday. The TVDB.com, A Whip Media Company. https://www.thetvdb.com/series/play-school-1966/episodes/745161