Admittedly, I didn’t know this song when I first started my career as a music therapist. I quickly learned it, though, after realizing that I might very well be the only person on earth (or at least at The Hope Institute) that didn’t. Because my students requested it so often, I decided to turn a “fun” song into a “fun-ctional” one.
There are three general goal areas I can target this song. They are 1) Color Identification; 2) Memory; and 3) Working as a Group (which falls under the umbrella of social skills). I’ll explain how I address each goal below.
Phew! That is a LOT of words. I’m impressed that I can sing the entire thing from memory, let alone my students :) Here’s a way to make it a little easier while also targeting the goals that I listed above.
Take a piece of light blue posterboard or foamboard. Cover the width of the bottom 6 inches or so with green construction paper, and then you’ve got your grass on the ground and sky above. Color a hole in the middle of the grass section (I just use a brown marker for this). Then comes the fun part: create each item listed in the song — a tree, limb, branch, twig, nest, egg, and bird — using cardstock, markers, construction paper, and whatever else you want. In fact, this makes for a great art project for your students. You may want to laminate the items so that they hold up. Attach a small piece of velcro to the back of each, and the other side of velcro to the posterboard so that they can be easily attached to the correct spot.
Let each student take his or her turn placing an item on the posterboard and identifying the color of that item. With the visual aide, it’s much easier to remember what logically comes next in the song (for you and the students!). At the end of the song, your students have worked as a group to create an entire scene.
If I’m just singing this song for fun with a group and don’t have the resources for the full activity, I’ll pass out green egg shakers and ask the children to shake them only when the “green grass” is mentioned. Talk about impulse control!