At the schools I work at, we've been exploring country music this week. I like using real songs while teaching children (I try to avoid using the Kidz Bop-ified version of songs), so I threw some Johnny Cash into the lesson plan.
Here's the lesson plan that I used for this week on Google Docs (the link has guitar chords):
I'm also posting the lesson below:
Music Lesson Plan
Theme: Country Music (feat. Johnny Cash)
Introduction (2 to 5 minutes):
-“Hello and How Are You?” or “Shalom Yeladim”
For older children, pass around a cowboy hat or other theme-related object. Item keeps the children engaged with song. Children will have a chance to be in “the spotlight” and have a chance to participate by singing their own name and/or holding the ball.
-Introduce the lesson theme, country music
For older children: ask the children what they know about cowboys,
-“Have you seen cowboys and cowgirls in movies like Toy Story?”
-“What do cowboys say? What do cowboys do?”…for younger children: describe cowboys
Core Songs (8-12 minutes):
Core Song #1: Frog Went A Courtin’
-Tell the children that this song is about a frog that wants to marry a mouse. Ask preschoolers about marriage (be prepared for interesting answers like: Lindsey, 3 years old: "I hope one day I'll find a partner to marry so he can dance with me.")
-Ask children and teachers to repeat the “uh huh” phrase after each line of the song.
Movement to Music #1: “Knees Up Mother Brown”
-Have children do the different movements to the song (knees up, hop, twirl, prance)
Core Song #2: “Five Feet High and Risin’” (a good counting song)
-Johnny Cash appeared on Sesame Street to perform this song:
-Older children may pretend the school is flooding: “Hurry! Help me build a wall!”
-You may demonstrate the song with blocks, ask children to stack blocks & count.
Movement to Music #2: “I’ve Been Everywhere”
-Ask the older children where they have been. “Raise your hand if you’ve been to the library. The post office. The grocery store. Disney World.”
-Language benefit, expressing past events, using the “have been” verb tense
-Explain to the children that they have been to a lot of places (and so has Johnny Cash)
-Stand up and dance to “I’ve Been Everywhere,” watch how babies respond to the fast tempo of song. Exposing babies to 12-bar blues chord progression.
Bonus Song: “Ring of Fire”
-If time permits, introduce “Ring of Fire” to the children. Discuss fire safety, is fire dangerous? Can it be helpful? When do you see fire? (while camping? at Shabbat?). Predicting outcomes: “What would actually happen if you fell into a ring of fire?”
-You can include hand motions, make ring with hands, and flick fingers for fire (American Sign Language sign for fire)
-Discuss the horns in the song, you may have another teacher play the trumpet part. (F F-F F-F, G-Eb-F, then D D-D D-D, Eb-C-D), discuss “boom-chicka-boom” rhythm.
-“Happy Birthday” if applicable
Closing (1-2 minutes):
-Sing goodbye to music or “Shalom Chaverim” (once in Hebrew, once in English)
One of the moms told me to check out the Medeski Martin & Wood version of "I've Been Everywhere"...their cover is called "Let's Go Everywhere" and it's a slower, funkier version, check it out below: