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Lesson Plan

Read a Song: Using Song Lyrics for Reading and Writing

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Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 30- to 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Melissa Weimer

Waterford, Michigan


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology






  • A collection of children's song storybooks

  • Computers with Internet access

  • Headphones (optional)

  • Markers, pencils, and crayons

  • The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani (Charlesbridge, 1993)

  • Chart paper

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Preparation for Session 1

  • If you have a computer that can be accessed in the classroom, bookmark NIEHS Kids' Pages; students will listen to "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" during the introduction.

  • Determine how you will divide the class into groups of two to three students.

  • Gather a collection of several different children's song storybooks (see Resources for Children's Song Storybooks). At least one of these books should be "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." You will need enough books so that each group of two to three students has one to look at.

Preparation for Session 2

  • Explore the websites on the Websites with Songs, Lyrics, or Interactives list. Choose sites you think are most appropriate for your students, keeping in mind that you want them to listen to a variety of songs during this session.

  • If you do not have enough computers in your classroom, arrange time in your school's computer lab so that each student will have the time to go online to visit the websites you have selected. Ideally, students will have headphones to use while they are working. Bookmark the websites that you want your students to access on the computers they will be using.

  • Determine if you would like students to use the computers by themselves or with partners. If you decide to have students work with partners, divide them into pairs.

Preparation for Session 3

  • Obtain and familiarize yourself with The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani. (You may also choose to use another one of Trapani's books which include Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and I'm a Little Teapot.)

  • Review the list of songs on the Suggested Songs for Changing Lyrics sheet.

  • Make a copy of the My Song Lyrics Draft sheet for each student.

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