I have worked in Special education pre-schools for 20 years now and most of the teachers I have worked with have a farm animal theme in the fall. There are a LOT of books that go with this theme so here are two of my tried and true favorites.
Cows in the Kitchen
Cows in the Kitchen by June Crebbin and illustrated by Katharine McEwen is a silly rhyming book that is sung to the tune of “Skip to My Lou”. The farm animals get into the farmhouse, while Tom Farmer is napping in the haystack. When the dog wakes him up he shoos all of the animals out and then goes back to sleep. This is a great way to practice animal sounds and “sh” sounds. Shooing motions can also be added. I use this a lot for my individual sessions and it is a favorite of the kids.
In earlier posts I give instructions for scanning pictures for sequencing goals. This book works well for that, have the children put the pictures on the felt board at the correct time and then take them off as they are shooed out of the farmhouse, and added on again when they go back inside.
Barn Dance by Bill Martin Jr., and illustration by John Archambault is more of a chant than a song and the kids are instructed to keep the beat with the soundtrack.
It is a fun story about a “skinny kid” who stays up all night on the full moon and goes down to the barn and dances with the animals. I usually substitute the words “skinny kid” for a name of a kid in my group, usually one who has had a hard time paying attention or one who has had an excellent day so far. Then at the end of the story I ask “wh” questions while referring to the correct pages of the book.
“What is the name of the kid in the book?”
“What should he be doing?”
“Where did he go?”
“Who is this (scarecrow)?”
“What instrument is he playing?” and many more.
I learned about this book during my undergrad from a Music Education grad student who mentored me for a semester. She made the original soundtrack back in 1990, but due to technology issues, I had to remake the soundtrack. Click this link for your FREE download accompaniment for this book. Make sure you practice with the music before you do it in a group and leave space for the fiddle tuning segment.. How do you like the “Sing Me a Book” series? Are these posts helping you with your music therapy practice? Please let me know in the comments below and stay tuned for some Halloween fun in my next post.