by Audrey Wood (Author), Don Wood (Illustrator)

I love this book!! One night my husband and I were putting our 4 year old to bed and I had an idea! As I read it, my husband and my daughter acted it out. My husband was the sleeping “grampy” (instead of granny), my daughter was the dreaming child and I used her stuffed animals for the dog, cat and mouse. The flea was my finger. We had so much fun that pea asks for it almost every night now!

As we were doing this, I had a thought about my classes ~ wouldn’t it be fun to use instruments for each of the components to the story:

  • The house ~ small tubano drums
  • The bed ~ gourd shakers
  • The granny ~ jingle bells
  • The child ~ tambourines
  • The dog ~ sand blocks
  • The cat ~ glocks
  • The mouse ~ triangles
  • The flea ~ I large tubano drum (play 1 loud beat to signal the bite)

The story starts out stating that “There is a house, a napping house, where everyone is sleeping”. When I read the word “house” the assigned student(s) plays the small tubano drum(s). The next page mentions the cozy bed. After I say the word “bed”, the assigned student plays the gourd shaker. When I read “granny”, the assigned student plays the jingle bells, as so on. Throughout the story the components are mentioned in an order and the kids play in that order. They have to pay attention and listen for their word, as almost all play more than once. It was fun to see who was on top of it  and who would drift off. This week the kids couldn’t wait to do it again!

I did this with my kinders and first grade. It took the kinders a couple of tries to get the gist of it, but were fine once they got going. The first graders got it immediately! Next week I am looking forward to the kinders creating a 2 sound composition for their component and the first graders creating a 4/4 rhythm for their components! I will share the results!