Study Guide Lesson II

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:  English Language Arts, Physical Education, Music, Visual Art, Dance, Theatre

OVERVIEW:  Traditional songs are a part of young children’s lives and engage them on many levels that can be applied to various curriculum areas. This lesson builds on the traditional childhood songs in Bullfrog Jumped to develop a unique class collection, Our Songbook. Activities teach listening, remembering, reading, singing, drawing, writing, rhythm, vocabulary, moving to music, comprehension, collaborating. Students get a bit of Alabama history as well since all the singers on Bullfrog Jumped grew up and lived around the state. Our Songbook can be a resource for the class to use throughout the school year as an ongoing collection of any and all songs the teacher and students want to share. Start with selections from Bullfrog Jumped, then use this approach for songs students know, songs the teacher knows, and songs family members know. Integrate singing from Our Songbook into the daily schedule of the class. The songs will become very familiar to the children and they will enjoy using and adding to Our Songbook all year.


  • Bullfrog Jumped songs and lyrics accessed on the web site or CD
  • Computer with speakers or CD player
  • Large paper and plain paper
  • Drawing supplies
  • Large index cards
  • Tag board for making the songbook and rings for binding pages

TIME REQUIRED  30-45 minutes


  • “Frog Went A-Courting”
  • “Feed the Animals”

Song 1: Frog Went A-Courting
Mae Randlette Beck, Mobile, July 8, 1947

See notes on the history of this song.

The frog went a-courting, he did ride, uh hmm.
The frog went a-courting, he did ride, 
With a sword and pistol by his side, uh hmm.

He rode up to Miss Mousy’s door, uh hmm.
He rode up to Miss Mousy’s door,
And loudly there did ring and roar, uh hmm.

O pray, Miss Mouse, are you within? Uh hmm.
O pray, Miss Mouse, are you within?
O yes, kind sir, won’t you please walk in? Uh hmm.

He took Miss Mouse upon his knee, uh hmm.
He took Miss Mouse upon his knee,
Says he, “Miss Mouse, will you marry me?” Uh hmm.

O wait ‘til I ask old Uncle Rat, uh hmm.
For without old Uncle Rat’s consent,
I would not marry the President, uh hmm.

Old Rat he came a’ tearing home, uh hmm.
Old Rat he came a’ tearing home,
Says “Who’s been here since I’ve been gone?” Uh hmm.

Oh a nice young gentleman, Uncle Rat, uh hmm.
O a nice young gentleman, Uncle Rat,
With a willow cane and a beaver hat, uh hmm.

Go put that gentleman’s horse away, uh hmm.
Go put that gentleman’s horse away,
And feed him well on corn and hay, uh hmm.

O Mr. Rat, may I have Miss Mouse? Uh hmm.
O Mr. Rat, may I have Miss Mouse? 
And I will build her a very fine house, uh hmm.

O take her, O take her with all your heart, uh hmm.
O take her, O take her with all your heart,
And may you never, never part, uh hmm.

He took Miss Mouse down by the lake, uh hmm.
He took Miss Mouse down by the lake,
And they were swallowed by a big black snake, uh hmm.

And this is the end of one-two-three, uh hmm.
And this is the end of one-two-three,
The rat, the frog and the little mousy, uh humm.

Song 2: Feed the Animals
Mae Erskine Irvine, Florence, June 9, 1947

Little girl, little girl?
Yes, Sir.
Did you feed my chickens?
Yes, Sir.
What did you feed ‘em?
Oats and corn.
What did you feed ‘em?
Oats and corn.

Little boy, little boy?
Yes, Sir.
Did you feed my horse?
Yes, Sir.
What did you feed him?
Oats and hay.
What did you feed him?
Oats and hay.

Little girl, little girl?
Yes, Sir.
Did you feed my sheep?
Yes, Sir.
What did you feed ‘em?
Oats and barley.
What did you feed ‘em?
Oats and barley.



English Language Arts  Students will
K.1.) Exhibit an awareness of the concept of story.
K.2.) Demonstrate curiosity about print in the environment
K.4.) Develop phonemic awareness
K.7.) Begin to use a variety of early reading material
K. 8.) Exhibit an awareness of patterns in the language
K.9.) Begin to use pictures and text to gain meaning from written material
K.11.) Recognize that literature and other materials from various cultures may reflect differing values, beliefs, interests, and celebrations
K.12.) Exhibit an awareness that information may be obtained from a variety of sources
K.13.) Gain an awareness of others through exposure to written, spoken, and visual forms of communication
K.14.) Demonstrate an interest in and enjoyment of literature in a variety of forms, contexts, and media
K.17.) Exhibit expanded vocabulary and sentence awareness
K.23.) Express meaning through a variety of activities
1.13.) Connect knowledge learned in the language arts program to life situations
2. 13.) Demonstrate appropriate listening and communicating behaviors

Physical Education  Students will:
K. 1.) Demonstrate initial level of efficiency in traveling by walking, running, and jumping
K. 2.) Demonstrate initial level of efficiency in selected nonlocomotor skills, specifically turning and twisting
K. 4.) Identify differences among fundamental locomotor patterns
K. 5.) Establish a beginning movement vocabulary that includes the terms personal space, high/low levels, fast/slow speeds, light/heavy weights, balance, and twist
K. 7.) Apply appropriate concepts to the performance of locomotor, nonlocomotor, and manipulative skills
1. 1.) Demonstrate the ability to walk, run, and jump using mature motor patterns
2. 7.) Demonstrate motor patterns in simple combinations

Dance Students will:
K. 1) Demonstrate proper body alignment
K. 2) Identify and demonstrate basic locomotor movements
K. 3) Identify and demonstrate nonlocomotor/axial movements
K. 4.) Identify and demonstrate movement at different tempos
K. 6) Create shapes with the body at high, middle, and low levels from the floor
K. 8) Improvise movement sequences
1. 5.) Demonstrate accuracy in moving to a musical beat and responding to changes in tempo
1. 4.) Discuss and use basic locomotor patterns to express feelings
1.24) Create dances from various short stories (reading)

Music Students will:
K.1) Sing a varied repertoire of music alone and with others
K. 3.) Memorize songs representing diverse cultures
K. 9.) Recognize the difference between high and low sounds
K. 11.) Respond to a melody through movement
K. 14.) Express musical ideas using movement and body percussion
K. 17.) Consider music in relation to history and culture
1. 6.) Sing expressively

Visual Art  Students will:
K.17) Use a variety of two-dimensional processes and materials
K.24) Use art to express ideas, feelings, moods

Theatre Students will:
K.10) Tell stories from literature and life experiences through improvisation
K.11) Explore a variety of roles in life and make-believe through guided dramatic play
K.12) Demonstrate various locomotor and non-locomotor movements for different characters
K.13) Express various emotions through body, face, and voice
1.14) Assume roles based on personal experience, heritage, imagination, literature, and history
1.15) Collaborate to select interrelated characters, environments, and situations for classroom dramatizations
1.16) Apply concepts of beginning and ending to stories and story dramatization.
1.17) Use movement to explore thought, feeling, and roles from life, literature, and history
2.16) Select movement, music, or visual elements to enhance the mood of a classroom dramatization

TO PREPARE:  Teachers should think of songs from their childhood to start a discussion about songs students know and how they learned them. Review and adapt lesson procedures to suit curricular needs and students’ abilities. Choose one of these two songs to play and sing to the class to start Our Songbook: “Frog Went A-Courting” or “Feed the Animals,” which is short and sweet so may work better for younger students. Print the lyrics on large paper.

  • Create one copy with images and pictures instead of some words.
  • Create another copy with some blanks that the children must fill in.

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE  Even young children know plenty of songs from a variety of sources representing traditional culture (family, friends, religious affiliations, the playground); popular culture (television ads and shows, radio, movies, video games, recordings); and academic culture (pre-school, school, music classes). Keep in mind that Bullfrog Jumped features traditional songs of childhood—songs passed along by word of mouth within cultural groups such as families. Children also learn songs from popular culture via mass media and from formal training in school or out-of-school music classes. This lesson focuses on traditional songs but may expand to include other appropriate songs that students know and love.

PROCEDURE  Start by sharing with students some songs you sang at their age. Ask what songs they know. How did they learn them? Traditionally, from family members or friends? From popular culture via mass media? From formal instruction in a class? Tell them they are going to hear an old traditional song that Alabama children have been singing for generations.

Ask students to listen closely to the words as you play or sing the song you chose.

  • Use the first copy of the lyrics as you play or sing the song a second time and point to the pictures that illustrate words from the song, for example, “frog.”
  •  Turn to the second version and ask students to say the missing words that go in the blanks as you play or sing the song a third time.
  • Have the children write the missing words on large index cards for a vocabulary card collection.
  • Ask students which words rhyme and underline them on the page. Then ask them for other words that rhyme with the words they identified and make a list for students to see.

Mark the rhythm of the song as you play or sing it.

  • Lead the children in the rhythm.
  • Give them some precise movements to do to the rhythm such as pat legs, tap shoulders.
  • Create an opportunity for them to improvise movement.

Play or sing the song again, asking students to choose one word they hear and draw a picture illustrating that word.

  • Have them all sing the song and hold up their pictures when their words are sung.
  • Tell students to write the words of what their drawings on large index cards, which they may add to their vocabulary card collections.
  • Now it is time for the class to sing the song together until everyone knows it by heart!

Working in teams, students can create movements to each stanza of the song for an informal class performance.

  • Each group should include different levels (high, medium, low).
  • Working with the music specialist, dance teacher, or P.E. instructor, students can polish their performance for a family night presentation.
  • Invite another class for a performance and then have an Our Songbook sing-along.

The children can act out either song. For “Feed the Animals,” they can add on more animals and what they eat. What do they feed their pets, for example? “Frog Went A-Courting” allows for plenty of dramatic play. Student actors can use simple props to tell the story while other students sing the song. They can take turns acting and singing.

Make the lyrics into a big songbook by punching a hole in the upper left of the paper and clipping it with a hook between pieces of tag board decorated with bullfrogs and the student’ names. You may also bind the songbook by using three holes and clips. Add more songs throughout the semester or year and have the children sing song from Our Songbook often. They can sing class favorites for a family night presentation.

Work with the library media specialist and art specialist on a folk song picture book project. Children can read and compare a variety of folk song picture books and then choose a song to illustrate for their own picture book. Students can also choose a favorite and learn the song it illustrates to share in class.

Give each child an individual section of “Frog Went A-Courting” or “Feed the Animals” to illustrate. Write the lyric on each individual section. Put the drawings together to make a classroom folk song mural.

With the help of volunteers to type and copy the lyrics to all the songs in Our Songbook, students can design individual songbooks as a keepsake.

Folk songs have elements that stay the same, for example, a courting frog, but they also change as singers forget lyrics or make up new ones. Variation is a hallmark of folk songs. Do students know a different version of any songs? There are many recorded versions of “Frog Went A-Courting” as well as picture books. The library media specialist can help find several for students to compare using Venn diagrams. Why do students think there are so many versions? Which do they like best? Have the children make up new versions of a song by changing the words.

Bullfrog Jumped features four versions of “All the Pretty Horses.” Notes on the history of this lullaby are available here. Students can use a Venn diagram to compare the versions. Which do they like best? Why? Do they know another version?

Choose any of the Bullfrog Jumped game songs and play the games in the classroom or on the playground. Directions accompany the lyrics. Ask children what games they know and have them teach one another games. Work with the P.E. instructor on a game exchange lesson. Teams can take the games “on the road” to teach younger students in their classrooms or at recess.

Products: drawings, vocabulary cards, songs about themselves, group choreography, dramatic skits, 
Participation: singing, marking rhythm, drawing, writing, identifying rhyming words, discussing, moving, improvising, collaborating, acting, comparing
Products of Extensions: folk song picture books, song mural, individual songbooks, songs collected from others