Monday, October 1, 2012


Hickory Dickory Dock.
Hickory, North Carolina, was on my clock.
We sang and had fun.
I loved everyone!
Hickory Dickory Dock!
If you’ve ever been to one of my workshops you know how I love “Home on the Range.”  It’s a classic American song that all children should know.  I like to choose teachers/children to be the coyotes when we sing the song.  They get down on all fours and howl their little hearts out.  The rest of us get to be cowboys and cowgirls and strum our guitars as we sing.  Isn’t it fun to take something old and make it new again?
“Home on the Range” can be a great springboard for introducing vocabulary.  What are some different meanings of the word range?  Can you take discouraging and find the prefix and suffix?  What is an antelope?  How can you find out?

Have the children close their eyes as you sing “Home on the Range” and make a picture in their head.  Give them a white sheet of paper and ask them to draw the picture.  Enlarge the words to the song, cut them out, and glue them to a picture that seems appropriate.  Make a cover and bind their pages together to make a book. 
There are dozens of songs that can be turned into SINGING BOOKS to be used for class sing alongs or in the listening center.

Aden Cranford reminded me of another chant I used to do.  If you ever went to camp or were a scout you probably will remember this as well.  It was called “Little Cabin in the Woods” and each time through you left off a verse and clicked your tongue as you did the movements.  The problem was that the rabbit said something that was politically incorrect.  “Help me!  Help me!” he said, “Or the hunter will shoot me dead!”  Well, we tweaked the words a little so you can hug the bunny and make it warm.

Little Cabin in the Woods
Little cabin in the woods,                  (Make a square shape in front of you.)
Little man by the window stood.  (Circles around eyes.)
Saw a rabbit hopping by            (Index finger and middle finger up for ears.
                                             Pretend to hop your fist like a bunny.)
Knocking at my door.                  (Pretend to knock.)
“Help, me!  Help me!  Help me!” he cried.  (Hands up in the air.)
“For I’m lost and it’s cold outside.”  (Pretend to shiver.)
Little rabbit come inside,           (Make motion with hand.)
Safely you’ll abide.                           (Pretend to pet the hand that is the bunny.)

Repeat the rhyme, each time leaving out one line as you make the motions and clicking the syllables with your tongue.  When you do it the last time children will be quiet and focused.