The song Naughty Kitty Cat is a great example of this. It has a catchy little tune, involves a really fun game, and is an easy gateway to including barred percussion instruments. I recently taught this lesson with some of my youngest students and was really pleased with how it turned out, so I wanted to share my process with you. If there are any other activities or avenues that you take with this song, I'd love to hear about it. Feel free to share in the comments about how you use this song in YOUR classroom!
Learning the Song - The Process
In the next lesson I bring the cat back and I have the kids learn the rest of the song. We sing it phrase by phrase to learn the music. In our previous lesson, I sang the music and students added in the "meows." For this lesson I turn the tables on them so that once the students have the song all learned, they will sing the song and I add the "meows" in with Fluffly. Finally we put it all together and kids get to sing the phrases of the song and add in the "meows" as well doing both parts at once
Chasing the kitty - the Circle Game
Then the real fun begins. I choose a "cat" and an "owner." The cat stands in the middle of the circle and the owner walks around the circle on the outside. The rest of the kids hold hands and create a fence between the cat and owner. The way the game works is that the kids all sing the song and the child in the middle gets to sing the "meows" as a solo. This fun little addition gives the kid in the middle the chance to do something on their own in front of their class. Saying "meow" isn't nearly as intimidating as singing a solo or demonstrating a concept for all your peers, but it's a great starter activity to get kids comfortable with doing something alone in front of others.
During the song the kids hold hands and keep the owner away from the cat. At the end of the song on the very last "meow" they raise their arms and create little gateways for the cat to get out. The kid playing the the cat runs out under one duet's upstretched arms. At that moment all the other kids put their arms down. This means that there is only one archway to get in or out of the circle. After choosing that pathway the cat runs and the owner on the outside of the circle tries to catch them. The goal for the cat is to get all the way around the circle and back under the same open arch before the owner catches them. I cannot tell you how much fun my kids have with this!
I generally let kids play the game one day/class period without adding anything new. I'll stand on the outside accompanying on the xylophone while students sing and then chase one another as cat and owner. To rotate through students I usually have the cat choose a new cat and the owner choose a new owner.