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The West Music Blog presents articles, press releases and other information of interest to our local and worldwide customers.

Blogs by Sharon Burch

Jump into the School Year with Freddie the Frog!
By Sharon Burch
9/7/2011 3:43:00 PM  

Dreading that next kindergarten (or pre-school) music class? Simply placing a puppet on your hand (no voice, just shaking the head up and down or side-to-side) will transform your room.  A puppet works magic in lower elementary classes!  It doesn’t need to be Freddie, any puppet will do that you build a story around.  Obviously, I use Freddie, so here is what I do at the beginning of every year.  It works like a charm! I use this lesson plan EVERY year with the kindergarten music class. It works with Pre-School, too! 

Freddie the Frog Class

Music Lesson #1 with Freddie the Frog®

Kindergarten or Pre-School:

  1. Kids sit on the floor facing me at the front of the room.
  2. Meet Freddie the Frog.
  3. Freddie is shy and a little scared.  We help Freddie feel more comfortable by learning his song, “Hello, Freddie.”

Hello, Freddie(To the tune of "Where is Thumbkin?")  Lyrics by Sharon Burch

Hello, Freddie
Hello, Freddie
Who are you?
Who are you?

We are friends of Freddie.

We are friends of Freddie.
(Freddie) How are you?
(Kids) We are fine.

  1. Freddie is happy and asks the kids if they would sing it every time they come to music.
  2. Freddie wants to tell them a story.  I tell him that I’m sorry, but we don’t have time.  We’ll have to share it next time.
  3. Continue class with a few fun activities that get the kids moving and establishing movement rules in your classroom.  (Remember, they only get to “play” if they play by your rules.  Sit them down once, and they will follow the rules to get to play.)
  4. Return to their seats.
  5. Stand, turn in direction of the line and leave to give Freddie a hug and return to their classroom.

Now it’s time to introduce Freddie's first story!

  • If you have a 25-30 minute class period, pretend to tell Freddie that you will have to wait until the next music class to tell his story.  Students will remember and arrive at the next music class already focused and anxious to hear Freddie’s story.
  • If you have a 40-50 minute class, skip step 8 above and segue into the next lesson…

Now it’s time to create a personality for the puppet.  A story is the best way to bring a puppet to “life.”  Through a story, the puppet is no longer a puppet, but “real.”   Freddie came to life through a story I created a long time ago.  Create your own or use mine.  This is how kids fall in love with Freddie the Frog through Freddie the Frog and the Thump in the Night.

Music Lesson #2 with Freddie the Frog®

Start class with Freddie’s Hello Song: “Hello, Freddie”
Freddie shares his 1st story
"Thump in the Night"

Thump in the Night Book

Click to watch a short video clip of Introducing Freddie the Frog's 1st Story: Thump in the Night.

Watching the video clip is the easiest way to see how to introduce the story.

Once the initial year with the puppet is established, I continue to bring out the books for each level at the beginning of each year.  This refreshes the students’ memories and brings all the new students on board. Following is a synopsis of what I do at each grade level.

Kindergarten - Sharing it for the first time.

1st grade & 2nd grade - Review for returning students; acquaints new students to the magic of Freddie.

3rd grade - Review for returning students; acquaints new students with the story we are referring to.  Move to the “4th grade way” transition.  Correlating how the story, Freddie’s alphabet and your hand all represent the staff.

If you are using Freddie or another puppet, use the stories as the connection to the puppet, bringing it to “life,” and the introduction to the chosen concept. 

Kids come to music class to see their new puppet friend. In my class, they arrive eager to learn anything that Freddie thinks is fun! And he is “real!”  That’s the magic.

Now the learning really begins with your puppet initiating games, songs, and activities that continue to build on the foundation of the music concepts introduced through the stories.

Sharon Birch

Sharon Burch
Freddie the Frog®

For the whole sequence of lessons using Freddie the Frog® and the storybooks, check out the teacher's book, Beyond the Books: Teaching with Freddie the Frog!

Beyond the Books

The NEW teacher's book outlines 14 sequential lessons developed to teach music concepts, utilizing the storybooks and far beyond. The lessons include when and at what grade levels to introduce each book, how to introduce and review key concepts, plus extension lessons that reinforce the learning.

The enclosed CD-ROM includes:

  • Reproducible Student-size Flashcards
  • 25 Coloring Pages
  • Interactive Whiteboard Lesson flipcharts/PPTs
    • Freddie’s Mystery Song flipcharts/PPTs
    • 4-Beat Patterns to 12-Bar Blues PPT
    • Freddie the Frog® ClipArt (create your own Freddie Mystery Songs and more)
    • Assessment Report Sheets
    • Assessment Teacher Files

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Tags: Freddie the Frog, puppets, lower elementary, general music classes
Categories: Classroom Furniture & Equipment
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