Sitting On The Farm by: Bob King

Sittin on the Farm

Oh how I love to sing books!!!  I am not sure how many I have in my music therapy collection but you can be sure I will be sharing some of my favorites over the next few weeks. 

Sitting on the Farm is a great book by Bob King.  I love to use this book in the springtime during my Farm week.  This book is a great way to teach animal identification, and can be used as an  introduction the food chain. 

I love the repeated lines throughout this book. Especially the “Munch, Munch, Munch.”

Over the years I have used this song/book simply as a book that is sung.  As I sang through each verse I had my students name the animals on each page.  For my students who used adapted switches, I recorded the “Munch Munch Munch” on a big mack and had them push the button at the designated spot in the book. Oh the out break of giggles we received!!

At the completion of the book I asked questions:

Where does this story take place?

What was on the farmers knee?

What did the farmer say when the animal got on his knee?

What did the farmer pick up?

What animal the biggest/smallest?

Was the first picture an animal or an insect?

How many of the pictures are mammals?

Who did the farmer call when the dog got on his knee?

If my students had a hard time recalling the information,  I sang the part of the phrase that gave them the answer.  “I picked up the….”

To meet the continuing  needs of my students, I have created a few adapted books ABSittin on the Farmand visuals to go along with this book/song.  First I made a file folder game where the students had to identify the animal in the song and place it in the number block where it belongs.  My goals for those students were animal identification and ordinal positioning as well as following directions and increasing focus and attention.

I later had a few students who needed strategies to label word to picture. So I created a book where the students were given a “word bank” and were asked to find the animal word that went along with the picture in book. Last year I created an interactive computer program using Promethean Planet so the students could independently play the song and label the pictures during computer time.

For those students who needed to work on impulse control I gave them a drum and told them they could ONLY play on… “Munch Munch Much.” For other groups I had them clap on “Munch Munch Munch” if I needed to work on motor imitation.

Last but not least… I have also used puppets for this song.  I have passed out the various puppets to my students and when they heard their part… they were asked to come to the front and put the puppet on my knee.  For this group I was looking to see if my students could follow 2 step directions, transition from one place to another, take turns, and increase eyecontact with peers.

The ways to use this one song could go on and on!!

I love how one song can work on so many skills!!

On a side note, I like to sing all my songs “live.”  However, if you need a recording, Bob McGrath, has a great upbeat recording of the song I would recommend!! 

If you use this song or have this book.. how do you use it?

Learning Through Music and Movement

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Music and Movement activities help to develop the large muscles of the body, help enhance creativity, and help to improve listening skills and concentration. You may want to try these activities with your student or child:

Follow the Leader —
This activity helps develop concentration. Play a recording of an instrumental song. Move around the room in different ways such as walking, tiptoeing, hopping, and twirling. Let you child observe you, follow your lead, and copy the movements. As your child becomes familiar with this game let them take the lead and you follow them!
Scarf Dance —
This activity nurtures your child’s creativity. Give your child a scarf or a piece of cloth. Play a recording of a song and let your child wave the scarf to the rhythm of the music. Wave the scarf over your head and across your body crossing midline as often as you can.
Loud or Soft —
Your child will improve listening skills with this activity. Play a recording of a song loudly or softly. Tell your child to listen carefully to the song. When it is loud, he or she marches around the room. When the music is soft, he or she tiptoes around the room.
Mirrors Mirrors
This fun activity helps your child improve concentration. Play a slow piece of music and have your child stand facing you. Move very slowly using a variety of arm and leg movements while your child copies you. Then let him or her make the movements while you mirror them.
Musical Instruments can also be used during movement activities. Instruments can be a motivating way to encourage grasp/release, bilateral integration, eye hand coordination, crossing midline, cause/effect skills, and basic motor imitation.
Jim Gill is one of my favorite artists. I have been using his songs in my practice for 10 years. Jim Gill has several CD’s out and I must say they are wonderful to move to. The kids and the teachers love the upbeat songs and catchy lyrics. You can check out his website at http://www.jimgill.com/
Here is a list of my favorite:
Irrational Anthem
Toe Leg Knee
Hands are for Clapping
Alabama, Mississippi
List of Dances
Let’s Dance Now
Poison Ivy
Leaky Umbrella
I love to use shakers with Alabama Mississippi. Here is the basic movement pattern I use with this song
Alabama – shake over head
Mississippi — shake on knees
New Orleans — shake side to side all the way to the floor (I like to have the kids bend their knees to work of quad. strength if unable to do this movement simply have them reach down as far as they can go.
Repeat pattern throughout the song
For my upper grade levels I have even brought in a map to show them where each of these states and city are located. From there you can open up discussions of how long it would take you get there, the climate, culture, etc.
I hope you enjoy these songs!!