Elementary Music, K-2, Lessons

Free K-2 Music Lesson: Five Little Monkeys (with math and reading!)

As a music teacher, I try to encourage academics in music as much as possible. That does not mean that I sacrifice musical integrity or that we just read textbooks all day, but it does mean that I try to fit in math, science, social studies, and reading wherever possible. This lesson, with Five Little Monkeys, incorporates math and reading perfectly!

I am pretty sure I got part of this lesson I got from another website, but I cannot find it anywhere. I had already planned on using this rhyme, and the high/low fit perfectly. And if you can know what website the high and low part came from, please let me know so I can link it!

You can also do this without the book, although without the book, there is no reading aspect to it. You can read extension ideas at the bottom of the post.

You can read about my 3-5 Boomwhacker and Science lesson here.

And don’t forget to subscribe for more ideas!  

Free K-2 Music Lesson: Five Little Monkeys (with math and reading!) Really fun lesson for younger music students to teach high and low and steady beat. Also includes reading and subtraction/counting. Becca's Music Room.

Five Little Monkeys

Focus: I can differentiate between high and low. Materials:


  • Start by gathering the students together and reading the book Five Little Monkeys. Most of my students knew the book already, so just be aware that may happen. Have students hold up five fingers at the beginning and lose one each time. After every monkey ask (So five take away one is what?).
  • PS: At least in Georgia, Kindergarten phrases it as “take away”. During 1st grade, they learn subtraction, but depending on what time of the year this is done, you may still need to say “take away” instead of “subtract”.
  • Tell them that we will read it again, but this time a little bit silly. We are going to use our high voice and our low voice. So we will read the first part normal, but when we get to “Mama called the doctor and the doctor said” we use our high voice, and when we do “No more monkeys jumping on the bed”, we use our low voice. Demonstrate this for the students.
  • After demonstrating the first time, allow students to join with you if they have figured out the words. They can also do some simple actions (Hold up the number of fingers for the monkeys, pretend to bob their head on bumped their head, and then put hands up for the high part, and down for the low part.).
  • Go through the rhyme again, but this time, after each monkey, have a few students write on the board (or have everyone write on their own board) the subtraction problem. So the first time it will be 5-1=4. Pick different students each time so that everyone gets a turn. Be prepared to fix some of the problems, even though it feels like they ought to be able to do it themselves.
  • Performance time: Have two students come up to the front. Everyone in class will do the first part of Five Little Monkeys. One student will have a solo in their high voice on “Mama called the doctor and the doctor said.” And one student will have a solo in their low voice on “No more monkeys jumping on the bed.”
  • Continue until time runs out or everyone has had a chance.

Also read: Free 3-5 Music Lesson: Extra Beat, Take a Seat

Free K-2 Music Lesson: Five Little Monkeys (with math and reading!) Really fun lesson for younger music students to teach high and low and steady beat. Also includes reading and subtraction/counting. Becca's Music Room.


  • Students could play rhythms or keep a steady beat on instruments.
  • Students could act out the scene, starting with five “monkeys”, a mom, and a doctor.
  • Students could write down each of the math problems and then draw pictures to accompany each one.

My students (even my second graders) really enjoyed this lesson—even more than I anticipated! They were asking for weeks if they could do the Five Little Monkeys rhyme. From a teaching standpoint, it is great. Students keep the steady beat, move with actions, differentiate between high and low, and use reading and math skills. Talk about a win for everyone!

Don’t forget to subscribe for more content, or check out this Pinterest board for more teaching music ideas.

Click the picture below to check out the book!

What is your favorite book to use with you students? How do you incorporate academics into your classroom? Let us know in the comments!

Happy teaching!


Please follow and like us:

A Ton of Mini Reviews: Books I Read this Year Part 2

This year one of my biggest goals was to read. I love reading, but with high school and college and having tons of books to read for school, I had a harder time reading books for fun. My original plan was to read 10 books and instead I read 20! So here are some book reviews for what I read this year.

Each review will be pretty quick, but if you click on the picture, it will take you to the Amazon page for each one. There you can read full reviews from people more literary than I.

The pictures are affiliate links, so if you click on them and then buy anything from Amazon, I will get a commission. You can read more about that on my Disclosures Page. Thanks for supporting Becca’s Music Room!

And, before we get into everything, you should know that all of the books on here are books I recommend. I didn’t read anything this year that I didn’t like!

I am breaking the list into two posts because there are so many that it seemed like too much for one post. You can read Part 1 here.

You can check out what I am reading next year here: 2018 Reading Challenge

A Ton of Mini-Reviews: Books I Read This Year Part 2. Becca's Music Room. A bunch of reviews for books.

La Morte d’Artur

I have a serious obsession with King Arthur. It may be because I love the British TV show Merlin. But seriously, knights, princes, dragons, and wizards… how could it be better?

This book is all about King Arthur’s life, and his knights, and all of their battles.

It is long, so it would probably be better to read just a few books at a time instead of al at once.

My Cousin Rachel

I love Daphne du Maurier. Rebecca is one of my absolute favorite books. I was really excited to pick up My Cousin Rachel, and it did not disappoint.

Du Maurier is known for writing dark, suspense, and kind of creepy books. It is a nice middle ground—they aren’t scary per say, but they are suspenseful.

This book is all about a young guy whose uncle gets married to a lady he just met and then dies mysteriously. He spends the book trying to figure out how he died and getting to know his aunt, who is also a distant cousin of his, whom he had not met before.

You will be on your toes the entire time. And the ending is very surprising.

The Jungle Book

I picked this baby up for $5 on sale at Barnes and Noble. I have been trying to read through a lot of the classics (hence, Anna Karenina and La Morte d’Artur). I have never seen the movie the Jungle Book, but I loved the books.

The main story is about Mowgli and how he lives with animals and gets captured by monkeys. It is also a pretty quick read, as the whole book is less than 200 pages.

The Art of War

I grabbed this one on a whim because I was reading about King Arthur forever.

This wasn’t my favorite book that I read this year, but I am glad I read it because it is such a commonly referenced book.

A Ton of Mini-Reviews: Books I Read This Year Part 2. Becca's Music Room. A bunch of reviews for books.

Love Your Life Not Theirs

This was a good book. I am not usually into self-help books, but I loved this one.

Rachel Cruze is one of my favorite people, and one of the only YouTubers that I watch. She is all about practicing contentment as a way to be smart with your money.

Love Your Life Not Theirs is about habits to put into place to help you be happy in your journey, and be smart with your money. It is all about contentment and not comparing your life to other people, because that can lead to bad money habits and debt.

I recommend this book to EVERYONE, because everyone has to take care of his or her money.

The Complete Guide to Money

Dave Ramsey is Rachel Cruze’s dad. They both write books and work to help people be financially smart. He is kind of radical in his views—he is completely against any sort of depts. —But his ideas are helpful.

This book is great because it goes into depth about “money words” that you always hear and don’t know what they actually mean. He talks about insurance and retirement funds and investing. It is a very good how-to guide for those of us who would like to be smart with our money in the long run but is not sure how to do that.

800 Leagues on the Amazon

This is my favorite of Jules Verne’s novels. And I love Jules Verne.

His writing is fun, adventurous, and also scientific. He gives a lot of details about animals and plants and the Earth’s atmosphere, etc.

This one was my favorite because I did not know how it was going to end.

This is about a family who travels from their farm on a huge raft that they made to take their daughter to get married. On the way, a man who is trying to get money from the father by blackmailing him is following them. The family has no idea about the incident that caused the blackmail.

And you will be surprised many, many times.

The Secret of the Jungle

This is also by Jules Verne. I believe this is a sequel to …… which I have not read. But this one was very good.

It is about a group of people who have been stranded on an island for years, and have created a functional village out of it. During the book, mysterious things keep happening to help out the people. Telegraphs get wired and no one knows who sent them… people get taken care of and they don’t know who did…

I don’t want to spoil anything, but it will make more sense if you have read some of Jules Verne’s other novels like Around the World in 80 Days or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or Journey to the Center of the Earth.

You actually only need to know one of those, but I don’t want to give anything away.

Even if you haven’t read those, this is a good story.

I couldn’t find just this novel on Amazon, so I linked the Complete Jules Verne novels. And if you look, it is ridiculously cheap.

Mere Christianity

I have read some of C. S. Lewis’ books (can you say Chronicles of Narnia?) and I love the way that he writes. This is a book I have heard a lot about but never read.

This book is basically finding a logical case for Christ starting from the point of an unbeliever. It is really interesting, especially if you are someone who has grown up in the church and never thought about Christ in a non-faith based way.

This is a case for Christ with logic first and faith second.

So that is all of the book reviews for 2018! That is quite a few books.


I am keeping track of my reading on some lists.

I have read 29/116 of the Barnes and Noble Classics list.

I have read 37/339 of the Rory Gilmore book challenge (yes, someone made a quiz with every book mentioned or seen in the TV series).


What books did you read this year? What was your favorite? Have you read any that I have? Let me know in the comments!

A Ton of Mini-Reviews: Books I Read This Year Part 2. Becca's Music Room. A bunch of reviews for books.

Please follow and like us: