Children's Lesson: Old MacDonald Had a Farm

Group of Ducks
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  • Level: Beginner (children)
  • Focus: Vocabulary

Note: This work was prepared to take advantage of all the potential of a song like “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” may offer to work with different kind of animals. The methodology used permits any teacher to adapt the matter according to their necessities.

  • Grade Level: Young Children
  • Song: “Old Mac Donald Had a Farm”
  • Lyric: "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" Traditional

    Old MacDonald had a farm
    And on this farm there was a dog
    With a woof woof here
    And a woof woof there
    Here a woof
    There a woof
    Everywhere a woof woof
    Old MacDonald had a farm

    2nd verse: cat/meow

    Optional from 3 to 6:

    3rd verse: horse/neigh
    4th verse: duck/quack
    5th verse: cow /moo
    6th verse: pig/oink


    1. Make the students have fun making sounds.
    2. Children should have an active part in singing, making his or her animal sounds.
    3. The children will also learn to work with each other by presenting their piece in the song.

    Materials Needed to Teach the Lesson

    1. The songbook and tape of “Old Mac Donald Had a Farm.”
    2. The pictures of the animals of the song that contain the sound that each animal reproduces.
    3. Sheets of paper that children will use to match animals and the sound they make. They must have some pictures.
    4. Sheets of paper that contain the lyrics of “Old MacDonald Had A Farm” but the lyrics should have some blanks to be completed by each child. They should include some pictures.

      Teaching Procedure

      I. Preparing the Class:

      1. Choose animals the children know or pre-teach the animals for the song – ducks, pigs, horses, sheep etc.
      2. Make pictures of each animal for all children in the class. These pictures should have written the sound that the animals produce.
      3. Prepare sheets of paper to match animals and their sounds

        II. Introduction to the Lesson:

        1. Create a classroom mural titled "What We Know About Farms.”
        2. Set up a farm display area to generate interest in the new classroom theme (might include straw hats, overalls, farm toys and of course animals).
        3. Hand out the pictures of each animal to all children in the class. Check that they know the English word for their animals.
        4. Make the children think about their favorite animal that lives on a farm.
        5. Make the student listen to the recording of “Old MacDonald Had A Farm”, and think about what animal from the song they want to be. (Then, they will be asked to participate according to the choice they made).

        III. Step by step Procedures for Teaching the Focus Concepts:

        1. Listen to the recording of the song line by line; "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" and ask children to join you according to the animal they have selected. If it is necessary, stop the song line by line until they get the idea.
        2. Sing the song together with the accompaniment provided on tape. Remember children may learn very easily by using echoic memory.
        3. Promote mimics, gestures, etc. associated with the meaning to make children play a participative role freely. Remember children have energy and want to make noise. Songs will channel these natural inclinations positively.

          IV. Closure and Review of the Lesson:

          1. Divide up the children into their animal groups to sing "Old MacDonald Had A Farm" song without the accompaniment of the tape.


          Assessing Understanding of the Concept Taught


          1. Make the children sing in a cappella with their farm animal group. In this way, you will listen more closely to discover if the children are pronouncing correctly the most important words of the song such as the name of the animals and the sounds they produce.
          2. Hand out the sheets of paper that have the lyrics with some blanks.
          3. Finally, as an option, children may use a paper to match animal sounds to the correct farm animals at class or home.

          This lesson has kindly been provided by Ronald Osorio.

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          Your Citation
          Osorio, Ronald. "Children's Lesson: Old MacDonald Had a Farm." ThoughtCo, Mar. 28, 2017, Osorio, Ronald. (2017, March 28). Children's Lesson: Old MacDonald Had a Farm. Retrieved from Osorio, Ronald. "Children's Lesson: Old MacDonald Had a Farm." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 19, 2018).