I love the song Old Mister Rabbit for preparing and presenting low la. This classic is also great for springtime. Have you ever used it?
My kids love the different games we can do with Old Mister Rabbit, so today I’m sharing them with you.
The circle game has the most movement. To play, the students make a standing circle, with one person standing in the middle. The one in the middle will be the rabbit. Everyone but the rabbit stands on a Poly Spot. The class sings the song. On the word “cabbage,” all the students scurry to find a new Poly Spot, including the rabbit. Whoever is left without a spot becomes the new rabbit.
To add another level, the rabbit in the middle can call out different fruits or vegetables at the end of the song. The students only move to find a new spot when the rabbit calls out “cabbage.” This version reminds me a bit of “We are Dancing in the Forest” mixed with “Duck, Duck, Goose.”
This song can also be used as a memory game, with or without improvisation. Students sit in a circle. We discuss different fruits and vegetables. Then, we begin taking turns around the circle. Instead of singing “cabbage,” everyone drops out except the child whose turn it is. They name a different fruit or vegetable, then the rest of the class sings “and cabbage.” Then, the song repeats, with the next student’s choice, then repeating the already named fruits and vegetables. This can be an add-on memory game, or you can restart the song with each student.
My students find the memory portion of this game very challenging, so I’ve found ways to modify. The students pass a bag of toy fruits and vegetables around the circle, and when it is their turn, they select their fruit or vegetable from the bag, and put it on the floor in front of them. This way, the class can use the visual cues to help them get the correct order for the game.
I’ve collected my fruits and vegetables from Ikea and Target (in Bullseye’s Playground, aka the Dollar Spot). You could also use plastic food from the Dollar Tree, food mini erasers in the party favor section of Target, or toy fruits and vegetables on good ol’ Amazon.
As an extension activity, my kids love composing with the fruits and vegetables. First we create a four-beat ostinato as a class, then add four more. Afterward, students work in small groups to compose their own ostinatos. They took four pieces of produce, and wrote out their eight-beat rhythm on the pictures of plates. In the picture below, the students have just written the rhythm for “strawberry” on the first two plates.
Another option for the fruits and vegetables is to print pictures of produce for this game. In my Old Mister Rabbit song resource, I include these cards. Just print, laminate, and cut to use them. No matter which activities you decide do use with your class, I know your students will love using Old Mister Rabbit to learn about low la.