Sunday, November 14, 2010

Poetry and Songs for Littles....

I am cleaning out and discarding some of the boxes and boxes of school work I've saved from my older son.  He is in college now, so it's time to begin to abbreviate the papers I'm keeping.  It's not an easy task for me, but I am being reminded of many good ideas that I and other of his teachers used with him when he was in pre-school and elementary grades. 

I have a paper bag turkey and pumpkin sitting on my mantle smiling at me this evening.  I've been culling and resurrecting all afternoon.  We just went to see Toy Story 3 tonight and it was bittersweet to say the least....

One of the first things I came across was a poetry notebook.  His kindergarten teacher had a very good idea, I think, for gathering poetry work, nursery rhymes, and children's songs into a notebook that the children could keep and review.  Each page had the poem or song printed out on it, then the children illustrated things related to the piece and added a page number before entering it in their notebook.

The book starts out with a "first day of school poem" that's not really applicable to us homeschoolers, LOL, but there are some cute pieces that follow:

"One, Two, Buckle My Shoe"  (Do you know that most children today don't know nursery rhymes?)

One, two,
Buckle my shoe;

Three, four,
Shut the door;

Five, six,
Pick up sticks;

Seven, eight,
Lay them straight;

Nine, ten,
A big fat hen.

The children wrote their numbers above the number words on the poetry page, too....

Here's a version from Enchanted Learning that goes up to 20:

And here are some coloring pages that quiz children on their knowledge of nursery rhymes:

Next is "My Loose Tooth":

I have a loose tooth
a wiggily jiggily loose tooth;
I have a loose tooth,
a-hanging by a thread.

I pulled my loose tooth,
my wiggily jiggily loose tooth.
Put it neath my pillow,
and then went to bed.

Someone took my loose tooth,
my wiggily jiggily loose tooth.
Now I have a quarter and
a hole in my head!

This is followed by a page that contains the "Brush Your Teeth" song, which Raffi made popular some years ago:

Here are some tooth care coloring pages:

"Counting to 12"

Zero, one, two, three four, five,
Six, seven, eight, nine, sakes alive!
I have learned my numbers well
Next come ten, eleven, twelve.
I can sing a number song;
Won't you come and sing along?

Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

On this page, they wrote these numbers all over the page....

"A Drop of Blood"

Oh, there's blood in your arms and your legs,
There's blood in your fingers and toes,
And once in a while
When a game gets too rough,
You'll find that there's blood in your nose!  (Ouch!)

"My Pump"

(to the tune of Wheels on the Bus)

I have a heart and my heart pumps blood,
Heart pumps blood, heart pumps blood,
I have a heart and my heart pumps blood,

I hurry up and my heart pumps faster,
Heart pumps faster, heart pumps faster,
I hurry up and my heart pumps faster,

I slow down and my heart pumps slower,
Heart pumps slower, heart pumps slower,
I slow down and my heart pumps slower,

Anatomy coloring pages:

"One, Two, Three..."

One, two, three, four, five,
Once I caught a fish alive,
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
Then I let it go again.
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on the right.  (Ouch!  Why are nursery rhymes so violent?)

"The Little Turtle"

There was a little turtle.
He lived in a box.
He swam in a puddle.
He climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn't catch me.

Vachel Lindsay

Turtle coloring:

"Hey Diddle, Diddle"

Hey diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

"One, Two Apple Stew"

One, Two
Apple stew

Three, Four
Apple core

Five, Six
Apple sticks

Seven, Eight
Apple plate

Nine, Ten
Start again!

"Found an Apple"

(sounds like Clementine, to me)

Found an apple, found an apple
Found an apple on a tree.
I was napping, just cat napping
Underneath an apple tree.
Then it hit me, then it hit me,
As the apple fell on me
I discovered, yes discovered,
Newton's law of gravity.

"Apple Song"

Have you ever seen an apple, an apple, an apple,
Have you ever seen an apple, that grows on a tree?
A red one, a yellow one, a red one, a yellow one.
Have you ever seen an apple, that grows on a tree?

The "Apples and Bananas" song is included for work with long vowel sounds.  I think they used to sing that one on Barney, LOL, but I see that Raffi also picked that one up:

"Apple Tree"

Way up high on the apple tree
Two little apples smiled at me
I shook the tree as hard as I could
Down came the apples
mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, were they good!

Apple coloring pages:

"Falling Leaves"

Little leaves falling softly down,
Red and yellow, orange, and brown,
Whirling, twirling, round and round,
Falling softly to the ground.
Then SWISH, the wind comes whistling by,
And sends them dancing in the sky!


I'm waiting,
for fall to come,
for leaves to fall,
for mists to blow,
for winds to call,
for birds to go,
and then I'll know
it's fall.

"They Whirl and Twirl"

Like a leaf or a feather,
In the windy, windy weather;
We will whirl around,
And twirl around
And all sink down together.

"The Leaves are Falling all Around"

(and this one sounds like When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again...)

The leaves are falling
all around,
Hurrah, Hurrah.
The leaves are falling
all around,
Hurrah, Hurrah.
The leaves are falling
all around,
They're red and yellow,
gold and brown.
And they all come tumbling
down to the ground
Without a sound.

Fall leaves coloring pages:

"Orange is a Carrot"

Orange is a carrot
Yellow is a pear
Purple is a plum
And brown is a bear.
Green is the grass
And blue is the sky
Black is the fat cat
And red is cherry pie!

Mini-booklets for learning colors:

(Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Alligator long and green,
You're the meanest thing I've seen.
Sitting on a hollow log,
Trying to catch a big fat frog.
Alligator long and green,
You're the meanest thing I've seen.

Sue Brown
Louisville, KY

"Mr. Crocodile"
(Frere Jacques)

Mr. Crocodile, Mr. Crocodile,
Don't you bite, don't you bite.
I can run away from you,
I can run away from you,
Out of sight, out of sight.

Claudia G. Reid
Lake Stevens, WA

"Crazy Crocodile"

Crocodile, crazy crocodile,
Crocodile swimming in the swamp.
Eating all that she can see,
Eating all that she can see,
She can see, she can see, oh--
Crocodile, crazy crocodile,
Crocodile swimming in the swamp.

Judy Hall
Wytheville, VA

(We lived in south Louisiana at the time and they did a bayou tour that fall, LOL - they weren't just pre-occupied with alligators for no good reason....)

Alphabet themed printables for Alligators and Crocodiles:

"Sss, Sss, Hisses the Snake"
(Row, row, row Your Boat)

Sss, sss, hisses the snake,
As he slithers along.
Clear the way, move aside,
He's so very long!

Debra Lindahl
Libertyville, IL

More alphabet printables for Snakes:

(Twinkle, Twinkle)

Giraffes are munching on the trees.
Munching leaves up high, then low,
Munching leaves, then off they go.
Giraffes are munching on the trees.

Bonnie Woodard
Shreveport, LA

"I Know a Giraffe"
(On top of old Smokey)

I know a giraffe
With a neck that's real high,
She stretches and stretches
Till it reaches the sky.
She lives on the plains
With the elephants too,
You might also see her
When you go to the zoo.

Judy Hall
Wytheville, VA


Hey, Giraffe!
What's it like up there?
What do you see
With your head in the air?

Giraffe doesn't answer.
He stands under the trees,
Looks around quietly,
And nibbles on leaves.

Jo Ellen Moore

Giraffe coloring pages:

"Travel Plans"

If I could go anywhere,
here's what I'd do.
I'd pop in the pouch of a kind
I'd travel around for as long
as I pleased,
And learn to say "thank you"
in Kangarooese.

Bobbie Katz

"Black Cat"

A cat as black
As blackest coal
Is out upon
His midnight stroll.
His steps are soft,
His walk is slow,
His eyes are gold,
They flash and glow.
And so I run
And so I duck,
I do not need
His black-cat luck.

Jack Prelutsky

"Jack o' Faces"

I am Jack o' Happy
I am Jack o' Sad
Now you see me sleepy.
Now you see me mad!
Here I am in pieces small,
But in a pie I am best of all!

"Little Bat"

Small and furry,
little bat,
fly through the sky at night.

Listen, listen,
little bat,
as echoes guide your flight.

Swoop and dive,
little bat,
catch insects as you fly.

Hurry, hurry,
little bat,
back to your cave nearby.

Snug and warm,
little bat,
toes hold the ceiling tight.

Sleepy, sleepy,
little bat,
wrapped in your wings until night.

"The Bat"

A bat can hang upside down.
It holds on with its toes.
When it wants to find some food,
It spreads its wings and goes!

A bat might live inside a cave,
And fly around at night.
And when it's dark a bat knows how,
To get around all right!

(My son LOVED Stellaluna at this age!)

"The Spider in the Web"

The spider in the web
The spider in the web
Spin, spin oh watch it spin,
The spider in the web.

The spider gets a fly
The spider gets a fly
Spin, spin oh watch it spin,
The spider gets a fly.

The spider gets a ________
The spider gets a ________
Spin, spin oh watch it spin,
The spider gets a ________

Itsy, Bitsy Spider (in color or b/w, for coloring):

"Mr. Turkey"


Mr. Turkey, Mr. Turkey,
Are you getting nice and fat?
We are waiting for Thanksgiving,
Now what do you think of that?

Mr. Turkey, Mr. Turkey,
Do you ever wonder why
People eat you at Thanksgiving,
And not chicken pot pie?

"Mr. Turkey"

(Frere Jacques)

Mr. Turkey, Mr. Turkey
Run away, run away
If you are not careful
You will be a mouth full
Thanksgiving Day,
Thanksgiving Day.

"I'm a Little Indian"

(Little Teapot)

I'm a little Indian on the go
Here is my arrow, here is
my bow.
When I go a hunting,
hear me shout
Bears and buffaloes
better watch out!

Ack!  Every time I start reading "nursery" rhymes, singing "children's" songs or looking at old cartoons, etc. I shudder at the political incorrectness of all of them, LOL!  So don't shoot me!  These are just some ideas and I'm sure you can find plenty of politically correct poems online now days....  I won't even type the next one about poor old Mr. Turkey....

"I'm Thankful"

I'm thankful for the daily food,
Upon our table spread,
For meat and milk and fruit so good,
For work that brings us bread.

I'm thankful for each bird that sings,
For stars and waving trees,
For  colors which the autumn brings,
And sounds and sights like these.

I'm thankful for my bed and rest,
For dark when day light ends,
Of all my thanks, this is the best
For famil-i-ly and friends.

Thanksgiving coloring pages:

"My Turkey"

I have a turkey,
Big and fat.
He spreads his wings,
And he walks like that.
His daily corn,
He would not miss.
And when he talks,
He sounds like this...
Gobble, Gobble, Gobble!

Scroll to the bottom of these pages for some autumn coloring:

"Turkey, Turkey"

Turkey, turkey,
Gobble, gobble,
Eat too much,
Wobble, wobble....

"Five Fat Turkeys"

Five fat turkeys, sitting on a fence.
The first one said, "My, am I immense!"
The second one said, "I can gobble at you."
The third one said, "I can gobble, too."
The fourth one said, "I can spread my tail."
The fifth one said, "Don't catch it on a nail."
The farmer came along and stopped to say,
"Turkeys look best on Thanksgiving Day."

And then there are a bunch of pages with Christmas poems and songs, but you get the message, so I'll stop boring you.  My point is, with all the great, free print-outs available on the Internet today, I'm sure you can find much better poems than these and find ways to use the pages to reinforce writing letters, numbers, reading skills, etc. as well as enjoying the poetry, which becomes painless memory work, too, in the bargain!

Enjoy your little people.  They sure do grow up fast,


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