Category: Rhyming/Added Movement Who doesn't love the Pete the Cat series? Most children do! I will incorporate this book at the beginning of the year in my classroom. In this repetitive rhyming book, the children quickly catch on to the always groovy and upbeat Pete and his ever-changing color of shoes. The children can sing-along and nod and bop their heads to the rhythm of the book during the read along. This book is also a great reminder that if something goes wrong, you don't get upset and cry ("Did Pete cry? Goodness, no!") but you keep on moving along and singing your song, just like Pete the Cat.
Category: Added Action/Movement I cannot imagine teaching the different dones in the body without teaching this song. The students can point to or touch/tap each coordinating body part while learning, moving, and singing this song. It's a win for everyone!
Category: Familiar Songs I would incorporate this song/book during Christmas time obviously! Most children know this popular classic song and jingle bell instruments can easily be included for rhythm.
Category: Added Instruments This book would be great to incorporate instruments in while the family goes on an adventure looking for a bear. For example, a student can use sandblocks to "swish" through the grass, and for the cave "tiptoe tiptoe" they can softly tap their rhythm sticks,.
Category: Rhyming Songs/Familiar Songs/Added Movement I used to beg my mom and sister to read/sing this song book to me and to this day it is still one of my favorite songs. I would incorporate this rhyming song during circle time in the classroom. The children can add movement each time they hear rhyming words and laugh along to the silly song poem for a little brain break at the same time.
Category: Added Movement You can incorporate this song book in your PK-3 classroom when the class needs a brainbreak and needs to shake their wiggles and sillies out! The students can move along to the song (dancing, yawning, jumping, skipping, etc.) for added movement.
Category: Familiar/Traditional Songs Old McDonald is a familiar song for most children. This Pete the Cat version is the same lyrics as the traditional song but uses illustrations using illustrations from New York Times bestselling author James Dean's and his Pete the Cat picture-book series. You can incorporate this song in the PK-1 classroom during group time to teach different farm animals and the sounds each animal makes.
Category: Rhyming and Added Actions/Movement This is one of my favorite books! It is a rhyming book about Gerald the giraffe, who wants nothing more than to dance. However, with his crooked knees and thin legs, it's a challenge for him to dance. Gerald is encouraged by a friendly cricket that tells him to listen quietly to the world around him and that everything can make music if you want it to! Finally, Gerald dances without a care in the world. A teacher can easily incorporate added movement/dancing and instruments during whole group in this rhyming story while the class learns anyone can move and dance if the find music that they love. With light-footed rhymes and high-stepping illustrations, this tale is gentle inspiration for every child with dreams of greatness.
Category: Fingerplays A teacher could incorporate this classic song in the PK-K classrooms when learning about animals/spiders or use to incorporate group music and movement time in the classroom. The students can add in finger plays during the song and use the maracas or a soft sound shaker to simluate rain during the song.
Category: Fingerplays Five Green and Speckled Frogs is a fun book a teacher can introduce in preschool. The script is a song with repetitious rhyme as the frogs hop off their speckled log one by one. As you count and sing you can introduce preschoolers to math concepts in an interactive and engaging way while counting down with your fingers.
Category: About Music Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss is a book about an orchesta being created by different instruments coming on stage to perform, one art a time until the orchestra is complete. It introduces musical instruments with its rhyming text and super fun pictures. A teacher can introduce musical instruments while seeing what instruments are included in an orchestra in the classroom. If the teacher had access to real instruments, the teacher can show and play those instruments in the classroom. The teacher can also use this book to reinforce counting during a read-aloud.
Category: About Music This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt is an update to the classic children’s song “This Old Man.” The book explains all the different musicians and instruments in a jazz band. At the end of the book, it explains that each jazz man is actually a real person including Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and more. It has bios of the musicians at the end of the book. Also, the book itself is a counting book, and my son eats it up. This book is great to incorporate in the classroom when teaching different music genres, different instruments, and when teaching about Louisiana state history and important state figures. For example, teaching the class important state figures and learning about Louis Armstrong, who is from New Orleans. You can play New Orleans jazz music in the classroom duering activities and can incorporate current events such as the historic New Orleans Jazz Fest each Spring.