Suggested Activities

Introduction
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
Resources
Credits

 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

These activities are suitable for many situations, from classrooms to library programs, family reunions to summer camp. People not only like to sing but also to talk about themselves by sharing memories of childhood songs and play! Most activities are highly suitable for intergenerational exchanges and adaptable for all ages.

Intergenerational Song Catching

Have you ever sung “Skip to My Lou” or “Little Sally Walker”? Think of songs that you sang when you were little. What about songs people sang to you? Make a list of all the songs that you can remember from childhood. Compare your list with others’ lists. Interview people of different ages and make lists of songs they remember. The Bullfrog Jumped Song Catching Worksheet may be helpful. Findings may be graphed by song title, gender, age, region, and so on. When interviewing people, exchange songs. Ask them to sing a song to you, and you sing a song to them. Teach each other a song.

Song Comparison Quest

Why do you think folk songs change? There are three versions of “All the Pretty Horses” on Bullfrog Jumped. Most folk songs have different versions. Use the Internet to find different versions of a children’s song to count how many you can find and also compare them (see Resources for Web sites such as the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress where you can start looking). You can also ask people of different generations for their version. After collecting versions, choose the one you like best. Write about why you prefer it and why you think it changes over time. You may also draw a picture to illustrate the song or draw a picture of someone singing the song.

Folk Songs in Literature

Often children’s songs appear in fiction and picture books. Here are two ideas to adapt using the prominence of children’s songs in literature.

1. Pay attention to song titles and lyrics that you see in books that you are reading. You may be surprised once you start looking for references how many you find. For example, there are over 120 songs in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books. Find two CDs of some of these songs by a variety of musicians as well as companion songbooks on the web site, Pa’s Fiddle,www.pasfiddle.com. As you find songs in fiction or picture books, write them on a list that you keep all year. Are any of the songs onBullfrog Jumped? Choose a song that you find in literature to research. (see Resources for Web sites where you can start looking). Learn to sing one of these songs.

2. Design a picture book about a favorite Bullfrog Jumped song or a song from your literature list or your own childhood memories. A simple book format uses standard 8 1/2" x 11" sheets of paper folded halfway with either heavier stock or colored construction paper for the cover. There are many ways of making simple books. You will also need markers, crayons, or drawing pencils. After choosing a song, you need the lyrics. Write them down carefully as you listen, or you may find them in print. Lyrics to Bullfrog Jumped songs are in the CD booklet. Plan how to space out the lyrics. How many lines will go on each page? Inside the cover, make the first right-hand page your title page. If you know the author of the song, credit the songwriter. Most folk songs are anonymous. We do not know the songwriter. List yourself as the illustrator! If you want a dedication page, it goes next. Plan how many pages you want by reading over the lyrics. As you sing the song to yourself, what images come to mind? Start sketching ideas and then plan where to place your images. You might want to make colorful borders for the pages or choose a visual theme that fits the lyrics. Have fun, share your picture book with others. Teach your song to someone else!