I love rhymes and finger plays. They lend themselves so easily to vocal exploration. It's easy to take any rhyme and ask the students, "Can you say it like Mickey Mouse" (high voice), or "Now say it like a monster" (low voice), "Can you say it like you're telling me a secret?" (whisper), or "Now can you say it like you're talking to a friend who's across the playground?" (calling voice). These are just a few examples.
"Up Like a Rocket" is no exception. This one actually lends itself to pitch bending within each phrase. Here are some slides from a power point that I use with it.
As you can see in the first slide the voices get higher:
With the second phrase, the voices get lower:
And the third phrase lends itself to pitch bending:
Another fun extension with this chant is to add instruments that represent vocal inflection or describe the text.
Here's an additional activity to add to it.
When we were in Disneyland my son HAD to get this toy:
I was tempted to buy two of them: one for him and one for my classroom (I hope he doesn't mind when he comes to music class this year and I use it in class for vocal exploration!). The propellers make Buzz fly and will work as a fun vocal warm-up and can be used in conjunction with "Up Like a Rocket." There is a hand held controller with a button. When the button is pushed Buzz's propellers go and he flies. The general idea of this would be the students would use their voices to follow Buzz's flying pattern (when he flies higher their voices go higher and when he goes lower their voices go lower). Noah and I played around with it for a bit yesterday and I was able to get a very brief and rough video of this idea. When you watch it please remember that my son is almost 5 and was anxiously wanting to go watch Looney Tunes instead of help me. :)