Preschool Reading Response Art & Music

November 9, 2011

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Down on the Farm by Merrily Kutner

Why we love this book:

We love this book because the kids love this book! If you’re looking for a great little book packed full of learning then Down on the Farm by Merrily Kutner is a must have. This book full of rhyme, rhythm and repetitive text is the perfect read aloud to spark Reading Response Art & Music explorations. If you decide to purchase this book try to get the one with the CD. The CD takes the fun factor right over the top!

I was recently introduced to Down on the Farm when I spied these little shape pigs on a bulletin board. I had to learn more! Ms. Phyllis & Ms. Kathy cut out pink shapes and let the children explore the different shapes and designs on a black piece of construction paper. When the children finished exploring designs, they glued the shapes onto the black construction paper, creating these adorable little shape pigs.

Reading Response Shape Pigs, Young Three Year Old Class

Preschool Reading Response Art & Music


  • Down on the Farm by Merrily Kutner
  • Down on the Farm CD
  • pre-cut pink shapes of different sizes
  • googly eyes
  • black construction paper
  • glue stick

Day 1

  • Read aloud Down on the Farm
  • Talk about all of the different farm animals in the book. Children need opportunities to engage in adult conversation.

Day 2

  • Play Down on the Farm CD with the book. The children will looooooooove this CD!
  • Talk about all of the unique sounds of the instruments.
  • Play CD again and let the children raise their hands each time they hear a new instrument.

Day 3

  • Read aloud Down on the Farm.
    • The repetitive text of “Down on the farm, down on the farm,” is an engaging place for the children to join in and help you read the book. Children are always eager to read along!
  • Introduce pre-cut shapes and invite the children to manipulate the shapes on black construction paper to create a pink pig.
  • The objective is free exploration and artistic expression, rather than making a pig that looks just like the teacher’s.
  • Put the children’s art on the bulletin board. Ask parents to view the pigs as they pick-up their children from school. Wonderful “self-image” builder.

Day 4

  • Play Down on the Farm CD with the book.
  • Ask the children to copy your motions to the different sounding instruments.
    • Example: strumming a guitar, pulling the bow back & forth as if playing a fiddle . . .

Day 5

  • Play CD and read aloud book again.
  • If available bring samples of the instruments used on the CD.
  • Don’t own any instruments? Ask the parents of your students. You might be surprised what talents they can share!
  • Invite a musician to visit your class and play several different instruments for the children. Ask him to play several familiar songs for your children like Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald.
  • If you homeschool, take a trip to a music store. Children are fascinated by musical instruments.

What the children learned from Down on the Farm Reading Response Explorations:

  • how to listen to a book
  • shape exploration
  • shapes make a picture
  • how to use a glue stick (fine motor skills)
  • the sounds of different instruments
  • “I am unique and my art is unique!”

Life with Joyce

Baby Goes to the Farm: FREE printable Book

  • Print Baby Goes to the Farm to read aloud to the children.
  • Print a book for each child to read during a small guided group reading lesson.
  • Print a book for each child to take home to read with their parents. A very inexpensive way to promote literacy development in the home!

For more Farm Reading Response Art and Music Ideas: Writing Song Adaptations with Children is as Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Come win this Week’s Book GIVEAWAY: Reading Response Fall Art for Children

Sharing this week at:

ABC and 123 Learning

Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Lexi November 9, 2011 at 3:52 pm

I love the pigs! Those are to cute! Thanks for the fun ideas!

Natalie November 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Never heard about this book, but I love the shape pigs. So cute!

Merelyn - Real Kid Friendly November 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I will definitely check out this book!

Diana Shaw October 27, 2013 at 7:15 am

Cute ideas. I love to see parents playing learning games with their kids. It just makes the world a better place.

Early2Read Mom October 27, 2013 at 7:18 am

Kids can learn to read at different ages. But if given the right stimulus, kids will amaze you with what they respond to.

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