Study Guide Lesson I

Organization of Lessons I-III
Lesson I: Pre-K
Lesson II: Grades K-2
Lesson III: Grades 3-5
Song Catching Worksheet
Song Survey Sheet (download PDF)
More Suggested Activities

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CURRICULUM AREAS:  Language, Vocabulary, and Oral Comprehension; Creative Arts, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Health and Development

OVERVIEW:  Traditional songs speak directly to young children and create an opportunity to introduce a variety of enriching experiences, including delighting in the musicality of language and using movement as self-expression.. The activities below are only some of the ways to introduce children to these traditional songs that can inspire rich classroom experiences. The songs present opportunities to explore a range of activities, including

  • Individual and group expression through singing and movement
  • Literal pantomime of the lyrics as well as more personal and spontaneous expression
  • Counting, sequencing, and pre-reading skills
  • Connecting songs from home to songs at school


  • Bullfrog Jumped songs and lyrics accessed on the web site or CD
  • Computer with speakers or CD player
  • A clock with hands and drawing supplies for “Tic Tock”
  • A doll or stuffed animal for each child for “Rebel Dog”
  • Drawing supplies for “Cornbread Crumbled in Gravy”

TIME REQUIRED  20 minutes per song


  • “Tic Tock”
  • “Rebel Dog”
  • “Cornbread Crumbled in Gravy”
  • “The Old Gray Cat”
  • “Like a Leaf or Feather”


Language, Vocabulary, and Oral Comprehension Students will:
1. Show understanding of literal meaning of stories, songs, informational texts, and lyrics
read aloud
3. Develop and expand expressive language skills and vocabulary
4. Demonstrate progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and
experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in
a story
8. Identify words that rhyme

Creative Arts Students will:
4. Participate with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of musical activities
5. Demonstrate abilities to use different art media and materials in a variety of ways for
creative expression and representation
9. Express individuality through many types of free-form and representative
10. Actively explore a variety of creative development activities through drama

Social and Emotional Development Students will:
1. Develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and
6. Participate actively in make-believe play with others
13. Show progress in playing cooperatively and interacting with other children without
direct supervision
30. Show progress in understanding similarities and respecting differences among people

Physical Health and Development Students will:
6. Walk, run, climb, jump, and hop with increased coordination, balance, and control
7. Experiment with galloping and skipping
10. Participate actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of exercise that enhance
physical fitness

TO PREPARE  Teachers should think of songs from their early childhood to introduce Bullfrog Jumped songs, telling students that all children hear songs from the time they are babies. Choose songs and adapt activities for your students. Learn to sing the songs and review directions for playing the games that accompany some songs.

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE  Songs are an important part of young children’s lives. They respond instinctively to music and movement in daily life as well as in the classroom. Identifying songs in their everyday lives will strengthen children’s connections from home to school and vice versa. Use music throughout the class day to help children transition from one activity to another, relax, sing, move, act out stories, listen carefully, and play games.


Song 1:  Tic Tock 
Annie Laurie Carleton, Grove Hill, July 5, 1947

Tic tock tic tock
Please hurry up, mister clock.
Oh you count them out so slow
Can't you make them faster faster go?
Mister tic tock tic tock
Please hurry up mister clock.

Children may be more familiar with digital clocks than clocks with faces and hands so have a large clock with hour, minute, and second hands in the classroom or draw a large clock face for all to see. Put a big bullfrog in the center!

Play or sing the song two or three times for the children, asking them to listen closely. They might count or hold up their hands each time they hear the word “clock.” Teach them the song so they can sing along and do some of these activities.

  • Ask the children to use their pointer fingers as tickers and keep a steady beat as they listen to the song. Change the tempo so they must speed up and slow down their tickers. They may also pantomime a “tic tocking” motion.
  • Arrange a simple dance as children stand in a circle and move clockwise to the song. Show them how the clock hands move in the same direction. Now reverse the dance and the clock hands! Emphasize how their feet keep a steady beat like the tic-toc of the clock.
  • Have children stand in a circle singing the song. Select one child to stand in the center with arms outstretched and turn slowly like the hands of a clock. After one round of the song, that child selects another to be the hands of the clock until everyone has had a turn.
  • What happens when a clock goes too fast? Have the children improvise a clock “all wound up and going fast.” What happens when a clock goes too slow? Have the children improvise a clock winding down and stopping.
  • Sing other songs about clocks and telling time, for example “My Grandfather’s Clock” or “The Syncopated Clock” with students. They can practice recognizing numbers as they sing.
  • Have each child draw a clock to hang in a classroom exhibit. They may use a paper plate or draw a big circle on paper. They may draw hands or use brads to attach hands.

Song 2: Rebel Dog
Laurie Cater Carleton, Grove Hill, July 5, 1947

Yeah, rebel dog, bow wow wow
Catch this baby, bow wow wow
Mighty bad baby, bow wow wow

Bullfrog Jumped includes a number of short “trotting songs,” meant to calm, burp, or entertain babies by bouncing or walking them. Introduce this song by asking what children’s parents and caregivers sing to them. Do they have a baby in the house now? What songs are sung to the baby? Play and/or sing “Rebel Dog” to the children a few times and choose from the activities below.

  • Ask the children to sing along until they know the song by heart. Next, children can mimic trotting dolls and stuffed animals, using the “bow wow wow” refrain with a rhythmic patting motion on their “babies.” Sing the song faster, then slower, softer and louder. They can do this walking in a circle or around the room until the teacher invites everyone to attention.
  • The children will love the “bow wow wow.” Have them sing another song like “Happy Birthday” using only “bow wow wows.”
  • Tell children to have a conversation with each other, only using “bow wow wows” What range of communication can they express? Can they express being sad? Happy? Confused? Angry? Eager to play?
  • Have children make up their own trotting songs and share them with the class.


Song 3:  Cornbread Crumbled in Gravy
Mary Chapman, Grove Hill, July 5, 1947

See notes on the history of this song.

Go to sleepy, go to sleepy,
Go to sleepy, little baby.
When you wake up I’ll make you up a cake,
Buy you little pretty little horsy.

Go to sleepy, go to sleepy,
Go to sleepy, little baby.
When you wake up I’ll make you up a cake,
Cornbread crumbled in gravy.

Use this song to start a unit on bedtime rituals. This version of the lullaby “All the Pretty Horses” includes a favorite southern food, cornbread. After singing or playing the song, ask students what they like to eat or drink after a nap. What do they like for breakfast? What are favorite lullabies? Share a lullaby you know. Why do the children think we have lullabies? Teach them this song and, if you choose, different versions of “All the Pretty Horses” (see tracks 2, 8, and 26 on Bullfrog Jumped) and other lullabies.

  • Bedtime rituals differ from family to family. Talk with children about the steps that lead up to sleeping, for example, washing or bathing, putting on pajamas, brushing their teeth, hearing a story or a lullaby. Children will be surprised that not everyone does the same thing at bedtime or even goes to bed at the same time. This is a good way to learn that we are all the same, we have to sleep, but we all differ in how we go to sleep. What do they sleep with—blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, dolls, night lights?
  • Use bedtime as a theme for a classroom “museum” and invite other classes or family members. Have children draw or paint horses, sleeping animals and children, a dream. Children (and staff!) can bring favorite stuffed animals to school to exhibit and even wear pajamas! Check out picture books about children and animals sleeping and have a read-aloud time. End with everyone singing lullabies.
  • Send a note home with children asking parents and caregivers to sing and teach a favorite lullaby to children so they can share it in class. Record each child singing a lullaby for the classroom listening center.
  • Share picture books of this and other lullabies, for example, All the Pretty Little Horses, illustrated by Linda Saport, Clarion Press, 1999.

Song 4: The Old Gray Cat 
Martha Drisdale, Sheffield, June 10, 1947

See notes on the history of this song.

The old gray cat is sleeping, sleeping, sleeping
The old gray cat is sleeping in the house
The little mice come creeping, creeping, creeping
The little mice come creeping through the house

  • Many children’s songs feature animals and actions children can easily pantomime. This one is easy and appealing. Directions: One child is the cat and sits in front of a small group of children who are the mice. As the class sings, the cat pretends to sleep as the mice slowly creep forward. At the end of the song, the cat wakes up and tags one of the mice. That mouse becomes the cat as they repeat the game. The children can practice singing loud and soft , fast and slow.
  • Ask children to draw the story of this song. Who are they in the drawing, the cat or a mouse?

Song 5: Like a Leaf or Feather 
Martha Drisdale, Sheffield, June 10, 1947

See notes on the history of this song.

Like a leaf or feather
In windy, windy weather,
We’ll whirl about and twirl about
And all fall down together.

  • Directions: As they sing, children act out the words by whirling and sinking down to the floor at the same time.
  • Again, students can practice fast and slow.


Start a list of songs the children know and add to Our Song List throughout the school year. Keep a list of songs the children learn all year. Count the songs with the children at the end of each week.

Record children singing songs from home or Bullfrog Jumped for the classroom listening center.

Invite families to a Bullfrog Jumped sing-along.

Teachers’ observations of students
Students’ participation in singing and moving
Students’ art work and pantomimes
Students’ conversations about rhymes, songs they know, and bedtime rituals