I don’t think I heard you right! Did you say don’t teach the words for this song to the younger children? What do you mean?
First of all, keep calm.<grin> Yes, I did say don’t teach the words to this song to the younger children, and here’s why:
This song has at least nine different abstract principles that a three and four year old does not have the development level to really understand. Yet, the melody and rhythm of this song are catchy and fun to sing. The message is one that eventually we really want the children to take deep into their souls.
So… instead of focusing on the words to the song at this point in their young lives, teach the feel of the song, the beat of the song, the melody of the song, the energy of the song… and let the song teach the child whenever they are ready for the concepts in the song. If the child loves the song because if his or her experiences with it, the song words will eventually come to teach them when they are at a point where they want to know what the concepts mean.
Translated that means I would teach the song in at least four to five different ways, none of which will really focus on the words. The words will slip in the back door of the brain if the child is engaged and participating in the right kind of experiences with the song. Here are some teaching ideas:
1. Special guests: Directional Marching placement movement to the beat
2. Tongue depressor stick patterns to the beat (crossing the midline)
3. Picture Concentration Matching game
4. Wind wand patterns to the beat
5. Paper Cup Pop
6. Seven Hops and Round the World Sways
7. Body Rhythm patterns
8. Story Song
(Some of those activities are explained here.)
Notice the 6 of the 8 activities are movement based. This song is full of vigor and life. The experiences that will give that kind of feeling are movement based. This age of child learns best through purposeful movement, and the beat of this song makes it easy to move as we sing. Notice also that each of the learning experiences is different. The brain craves variety, but needs repetition. I repeat the song in at least four different ways, but the method of teaching the song is different every time.