Posts Tagged ‘Literature Lesson’

Little Bunny Foo Foo Hopping Through the Forest…

Little Bunny Foo Foo

If you didn’t finish singing the song while moving your hand like a bunny after reading the title of this post then there is something wrong with you. Just sayin’!

I am thirty years-old (shhhh!  Don’t tell!) and I still  LOVE LOVE LOVE Little Bunny Foo Foo!  I look forward to my LBFF lesson every spring!  Honest to goodness the kids can’t get enough of it either.  It’s one of their very favorites and they request it for weeks afterwards.

A few years ago I was bumming around beautiful Old Town Alexandria, Virginia and stumbled into a bookstore where I found this awesome version of Little Bunny Foo Foo by Paul Brett Johnson.  In fact my students loved it so much that they bombarded the poor librarian to check it out.  Unfortunately, she didn’t have my version–which, of course was a complete travesty–so she ordered a copy for the library.

Of course this lesson can stand along without the book.  Just teach your students the song and have fun telling them some version of the story and they’ll love it!

I like to use this lesson from PreK-2nd.  LBFF might seem young for 2nd grade but trust me, they totally dig it!


It’s Spring!


Okay, maybe it’s not technically spring, but we’re getting a little closer everyday!  The weather here in Utah has been lovely the last couple of days.  With our luck we’ll get hit with a massive snowstorm next week.  That’s how we roll.

In celebration of the beautiful weather we’re having–and the fact that I’m currently on spring break and LOVING IT!–I am posting another literature lesson (I know you’re shocked) based on the book Peepsqueak! by Leslie Ann Clark.

This is a great book for teaching melodic direction to your littlest students (preK-1st), and is ideal with xylophones or other melodic instruments. Hope you enjoy it!



Literature Lesson: Click Clack Moo


Sorry guys! I’m a bit behind on posting. This month has been a little rough but I’m back and hoping to post more over the next few weeks to make up for my absence.

So I’m sure you have noticed that I have a thing for using books in the music classroom. During my first year of teaching elementary music in D.C. I struggled a bit with controlling the behaviors of some of my younger K-2 classes. I remember seeking advice from the school librarian one day regarding a couple of the classes in particular. After she kindly listened to my sob story about how nothing was working she commented that she really didn’t have too much difficulty with those classes. I can only imagine the look I shot her before she quickly amended her statement saying: “I’m lucky I guess. It’s just that I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love being read to.” The light bulb in my head immediately lit up. She was right. Kids love stories and if I could teach music concepts through stories then I could surely engage those difficult students. Literature-based music lessons became my obsession.

Last summer I had the opportunity to help teach a graduate early childhood music course and during that time I shared a bunch of my literature lessons with some of the students. Yesterday I received an email from one of the students inquiring about my Click Clack Moo lesson because she wanted to share it this week with her kindergarteners. Since it’s one of my favorites I thought it was time for me to post it on here.



I hope you enjoy it!

Here’s a little video of the story with the typewriter sound effects. Not sure how I feel about the ominous music in the background though…

Literature Lesson: Love Splat!

Love, Splat

I know, I know.  I’ve already posted about Valentine’s Day.  I can’t help it though.  I love holidays!  Last year right before Valentine’s Day I was walking through Wal-Mart wracking my brain for ideas my K-2 music classes and I spotted the little gem Love, Splat!

I had seen the Splat books before and had always thought that they looked cute so I picked up Love, Splat and started thumbing through it.  Unfortunately, as I read through it I didn’t really see any obvious way to turn it into a music lesson.  I bought it anyway–what can I say, I’m a bit of a shopaholic!  Once I got home I read through it again and decided that I would have to create my own refrain for the story.  I created a simple little So-Mi-Do song about Splat the Cat, decided the refrain would work best with an easy boomwhacker ostinato and added some incidental instruments for a few key words in the story.  I felt pretty good about the whole thing until it dawned on me that since the refrain isn’t really a part of the story there wasn’t a real seamless way for the students to transition from the story to the refrain.  I decided to cure that little problem with heart stickers.  I stuck a heart stick on every other page or so of the story where I wanted the kids to sing the refrain.  It ended up working out great because it gave something for the kids to be looking out for as the story was read!

The lesson is great for focusing on So-Mi-Do, ta and ti-ti rhythm patterns, keeping a steady beat, and instrument timbre–have the students pick out the best instruments to accompany Splat’s rumbling tummy and other fun words.

Click Here for the ‘Love Splat’ Lesson Plan

Literature Lesson: There Were Ten On The Sled

Ten On The Sled

It’s January, which means it’s cold.  REALLY cold!  The last couple of weeks I have woken up to temperatures in the negatives.  NEGATIVE NUMBERS PEOPLE!  We’re talking so cold that your body practically shuts down when you walk out the front door.  Anyway, because of the wonderful weather we’ve been experiencing here in Utah I felt that the first lesson on Music MAYhem should be Ten on the Sled based on the book by Kim Norman & Liza Woodruff.

I found this book last winter while walking through Barnes & Noble.  Okay, who am I kidding, I never walk through Barnes & Noble.  I spend HOURS in Barnes & Noble!  Particularly in the kids section!  My poor husband doesn’t even like going to Barnes & Nobel with me anymore.  He knows better.  Anyway, I digress.  So I found this little gem on a display in the kids section and knew instantly I had to have it!  Like many I have used the song There Were Ten In the Bed in my classroom many times with great success and this book takes that song one step further.

Okay, so before you download the lesson I am going to be honest and say that I have only used this song with kindergarten, so instead of using the full Orff arrangement I taught the descending glockenspiel part on resonator bells and the hand drum part.  In the arrangement I have the students play on the name of the character that falls out of the sled, which would be ideal, but with kindergarteners it’s a little easier to let them play on the word out or on the rest just after so you can take your pick.  I definitely think that this lesson is appropriate for K-2nd grades depending on which elements you use.

As far as acting it out, make sure you allow for enough time for all of the students to be on the sled, they’ll definitely want to!  I used an empty wardrobe box as the sled.  I simple laid the ugly unfolded thing flat on the ground for the kids to sit on.  Nothing fancy.  At ALL!  You all are welcome to put me to shame though and create a fancy sled using a beach towel, sheet, pillows or whatever else your creative genius comes up with.  Just don’t forget to come back here and share what you did!  I want to hear all about it!

Click Here for Ten On The Sled Lesson Plan

Click Here for Kindergarten Version of Ten In The Sled