Lesson Plan: Mary Had a Little Lamb
Dora Wilson (Guest Blogger) @ Kids Matter
Through the sing song lyrics of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, we have all had a lamb follow us to school one day. What young child wouldn’t find that the most amusing thing to have happen? May 24th marks the 184th anniversary of the nursery rhyme written by Sarah J. Hale. It is believed that the nursery rhyme was inspired by a true event. Nothing inspires learning greater than bringing a story to life. The following is a lesson plan to celebrate the anniversary of this historic nursery rhyme. Be creative and add your own touches to inspire those precious little minds in your classroom.
Mary Had a Little Lamb
By: Sarah Josepha Hale
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow,
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go;
He followed her to school one day-
That was against the rule,
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school
And so the Teacher turned him out,
But still he lingered near,
And waited patiently about,
Till Mary did appear.
And then he ran to her and laid
His head upon her arm,
As if he said-"I'm not afraid,
You'll shield me from all harm."
"What makes the lamb love Mary so,"
The little children cry;
"O, Mary loves the lamb you know,"
The Teacher did reply,
"And you each gentle animal
In confidence may bind,
And make them follow at your call,
If you are always kind."
General information: Teach the difference between a lamb and a sheep.
Reading: Give each child the Mary had a little Lamb booklet, have the children stand when you say the word “Mary” and make the sound “baaaaaa” when you say lamb. Give the children something to do for each section.
Math: Cut out lambs and allow the children to count them.
Art/Music: Have the children color and design their own sheep. Give them different materials such as ribbon, cloth, and pompom balls for them to decorate their sheep.
Physical Education: Teach the children how to move like sheep.
General information: Teach the schools rules about pets.
Reading: Make a game using lamb sight cards. Let the children draw a card from each stack to match the word with the picture. A picture of the lamb eating should pair with the word “eat”.
Math: Get a stuffed lamb and have one of the teachers walk around the class with the classroom counting together as the lamb walks up to them.
Art/Music: Play the nursery rhyme song and allow the children to dance.
Physical Education: Children run to school (play as if they are running to school).
General information: What do lambs eat?
Reading: Give sight words on index cards to play memory game.
Math: Make cards with different numbers of lambs on them. Children can then match the number to the corresponding lamb card.
Art/Music: Allow groups to work together to construct sheep from clay, paint or other mediums.
Physical Education: Hide-n-seek, one child has a sheep hat and one child has Mary hat, the other students try to find where the lamb and Mary are hiding.
General information: What does shearing mean?
Reading: Create a felt board story for children to tell. Allow the children to add their version to the felt story and record their ideas.
Math: Give each group a selected number of cotton balls (wool) have them take turns gluing them on the big lamb picture.
Art/Music: While playing “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, in different languages, allow the children, acting as sheep, to play musical chairs.
Physical Education: Students will walk like a lamb; move their arms as if they are shearing a lamb, and running like they are chasing a lamb.
General information: Take a field trip to see a lamb or ask someone to bring in a lamb.
Reading: Bring out the Lamb puppet and tell a story about what lambs like and don’t like.
Math: Take several different lambs and have them matched to the other lambs and do the same for little girls. Make minor differences to each one so the children will need to pay close attention to detail.
Art/Music: The children will make a school house, a barn, and a pasture to reenact Mary had a little lamb.
Physical Education: Students will have relays to bring the lamb into the school yard.