Six Leg Jump
copyright 2001 by Tim Griffin
Well I was walking in the park, I was watching the ants
They were waving their antennae round and starting to dance
The beetle started rockin’ and a’rollin’ his rump
And then the bugs all started doin’ the six leg jump.
It’s three steps left and then three to the right
The crickets were rubbing on their wings all night
The termites were twisting on an old tree stump
You know all the little insects do the six leg jump.
(Bridge) It’s an insect party, every buggy have fun
But don’t invite the spider or the scorpion
Not even if they call you on the phone and beg
You know they’re not real insects ‘cause they got too many legs!
The flies were buzzin’ all over the place
They had compound eyes on either side of their face
The flies got feet with little suction cups
But that don’t stop them doin’ the six leg jump
The head is connected to the thorax and then
they’re followed at the bottom by the abdomen
And when you see the roaches at the garbage dump
You know all the funky roaches do the six leg jump
(Bridge) By now I had another question or two
Like I was wondering if a spider is an insect too
I asked my teacher but she said nix, nix
‘Cause arachnids have eight legs, but an insect has six.
A spider’s not an insect even though it looks like one,
‘Cause every arthropod has got an exoskeleton
This means instead of bones they got a shell outside
They are the animal phylum which is most diversified
I headed for my house but I wasn’t alone
Because the bugs all decided gonna follow me home
I opened up my door, I saw the walking sticks
They were dancing in a line doing six-legged kicks!
(Bridge) There were little bugs dancing in my skin and my hair
Even though I didn’t really want them there
The doorbell rang, it was a gang of centipedes
But we wouldn’t let them in because they had too many feet
I heard the music coming from a nest of ants
With their mandibles clicking, singing dance bug dance
The larvae just wiggled in a big sticky lump
But as soon as they grow legs they’ll do the six leg jump.
Every buggy gonna do the six leg jump, every buggy gonna do the six leg, every buggy jump.
This is one of the songs we used in our research to show that kids really can learn science with music. Click here to read about the study.
Here are some standards from the NGSS, the Common Core, the NRC’s Framework for K-12 Science Education, and the state of California addressed by this song.
- K-LS1-1 Scientists look for patterns and order when making observations about the world.
- K.MD.A.2 Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/”less of” the attribute, and describe the difference.
- CA K-LS.2.a. Students know how to observe and describe similarities and differences in the appearance and behavior of plants and animals (e.g., seed-bearing plants, birds, fish, insects).
- CA K.LS.2.c. Students know how to identify major structures of common plants and animals (e.g., stems, leaves, roots, arms, wings, legs).
- LS1.A. All organisms have external parts. Different animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water and air.
- 1-LS1-1. Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs. (Tim’s comments: kids can compare an insect’s exoskeleton to a police officer’s body armor or a football player’s padding and helmet (that’s American football, of course), an ant’s mandibles to kitchen tongs, a beehive to an air conditioned apartment, an mosquito’s mouth to a syringe, multi-directional eyes to the rear-facing camera on a vehicle, etc. BTW, in my experience as a K-5 teacher I find no reason not to introduce specific vocabulary such as “biomimetics” in the primary grades. Kids love the sound of those big words and the power it gives them.)
- 1-LS1-2 Patterns in the natural world can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence.
- 1-LS1-2. Read texts and use media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that help offspring survive. (Tim’s comments: discuss how some insects care for their young while others lays eggs in a good feeding place before abandoning the eggs, etc.)
- 2-LS2-2 The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function(s).
- 2-LS4-1 Make observations (firsthand or from media) to collect data which can be used to make comparisons.
- CA 2.IE.4.a. Make predictions based on observed patterns and not random guessing.
- 3-LS2-1. Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive. (Tim’s thoughts: compare a hive of bees or a nest of termites to the more independent dung beetle or dragonfly.)
- 3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost. (Tim’s comments: a lot of educators are understandably anxious about how to make the whole engineering thing in the NGSS work in the classroom. I suggest that biomimetics is a great place to start: ask how various plants and animals, including insects, solve problems with their evolved (or designed if you prefer) structures and then discuss how humans design and use tools and machines to deal with similar problems. See 1-LS1-1 above for some examples.)
- 4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. (Tim’s comments: besides all the physical structures of arthropods mentioned in the song, it’s worth discussing the limitations of some of these structures, particularly why we don’t see arthropods above a certain size on land.)
E, A, B, B7. Note that the E chord is mostly played played with only one finger on the 2nd fret of the A string alternating with the 4th fret of the A string; the A chord is mostly played the same way using the D string. If this sounds confusing, don’t sweat it: just play it with any basic three-chord progression and you’ll do fine.