Over in the Meadow Lesson Plan
Students act out movements depicted in the book by Ezra Jack Keats.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2
While I include Over in the Meadow as part of an Ezra Jack Keats author study, I also like to feature it by itself to concentrate on the counting featured in the illustrations. Students love the lyrical sound of the poem, and especially enjoy participating in a choral reading.
Students will "retell or dramatize traditional literature." --Massachusetts English/Language Arts Curriculum Framework
- Over in the Meadow by Ezra Jack Keats
Set Up and Prepare
- Tell students to pay attention to the creatures featured in the book, as they will be acting out some movements during a second reading.
- The text of this book is based on a rhyme written by Olive A. Wadsworth. Before teaching the movements, you may want to remind students to be safe with their bodies. It's easy for them to get out of control during the frog jumping movement.
Read through the book slowly, teaching students the following movements.
- "Dig!" said the mother. (Use your hands to make a scooping/digging motion, as if you had flippers.)
- "Swim!" said the mother. (Put your hands together in front of you and sway them back and forth to simulate a fish swimming.)
- "Sing!" said the mother. (Place a hand on your chest, and reach the other hand out in to the air, as if you're singing.)
- "Dive!" said the mother. (Put both hands together and point down as you bow your head, as if you're going to plunge into the water.)
- "Buzz!" said the mother. (Put your hands to your sides and quickly flap your fingers to simulate a buzzing bee's wings.)
- "Caw!" said the mother. (Put your arms out to your sides as if you're a crow flapping your wings, and make one "caw" sound.)
- "Chirp!" said the mother. (Rub your hands and arms together.)
- "Bask!" said the mother. (With head upturned, spread your arms out, palms up, to welcome the sun.)
- "Croak!" said the mother. (Croak like a frog and make a little stationary jump as you croak once.)
- "Shine!" said the mother. (Throw your fingers open in front of you, to simulate a flashing light.)
Have your class perform a reading with the movements for an audience. Remind students to use a clear voice and good eye contact.