It seems counterproductive that I want to sit still, i.e. lounge around doing nothing, during the cold months, especially since physical activity is the exact thing I need to keep me warm. In light of this, I’m going to focus on active lesson ideas that will keep both you and your students warm during cold weather.
The lesson template below (which you can download for free) is meant to be used as a guide for writing your own lesson plan for Down to the Baker’s Shop. You can use the excess space at the bottom of the guide to sketch out activity ideas or jot down notes on what you’d like to include in your own lesson plan.
To begin, ask students to identify the main action word in the song (hop). Then, as you sing the song, ask students to move to the steady beat of the song and hop each time they hear that word in the song. As they grow more comfortable moving with the music, ask them to join in singing with you.
Down to the Baker’s Shop is a great song for teaching melodic contour, specifically downward motion. Once students have worked up a bit of sweat with their hopping, start a class discussion on the melodic segment “hop, hop, hop”. Ask the students whether they think the melody is moving higher or lower. If you have puppets or small stuffed animals, this would be a great time to pull them out and use them as visual aides. My friend Elizabeth from Organized Chaos uses a story to help students understand high and low. You can visit her post here to learn more.
Break students into small groups and have them discuss how they might perform this song in a concert. Ask them what simple changes they could make, such as what words they might use in place of “hop, hop, hop”. When they’ve finished, ask them to perform the song for the rest of the class.
Reinforce the concept of melodic contour by adding Orff instruments to the mix. Have part of the students play (only during “hop, hop, hop”), while the rest of the class sings and moves to the song. If your students don’t have a lot of experience with Orff instruments, this would be an easy song for them to grasp.