Jedi Music

A Resource for the Beginning Elementary Music Teacher


Children's Literature for Music Ed: "One Little, Two Little, Three Little Apples"

Here is a well-known counting tune ("Ten Little Indians" or "Michael Finnigan") re-written by Matt Ringler for a fall apple harvest theme. "One Little, Two Little, Three Little Apples" is nice and calming for the last five minutes of your class when you want your students to be winding down.

This book is appropriate for your students in Preschool, Kindergarten, and First grade, and fits in nicely with a fall/apple/harvest theme.  The counting repetitions are also going to be helpful for use with your special needs students.

The two children in the story-song are apple picking with their parents and grandfather, and while Mom and Dad are preparing an apple pie, Grandpa and the kids go back outside for some fall fun: jumping in leaves and playing ball. When the pie is finished, the entire family enjoys eating freshly baked apple pie.

Here are some of my ideas for incorporating this book in your music class:

  • Reinforcing counting to ten forwards and backwards is a big part of the story, so be sure that your students are counting and singing along with you! 

  • Use ten play apples, magnet apples, or real apples as you count and sing the song. If you have a paraprofessional to assist you, they can model counting out the apples as you sing the song. If you do not have a helper, then demonstrate counting out the ten apples before you begin with the book.  After demonstrating, select students to help count out the apples.

  • Practice echo-singing on the unfamiliar verses of the story song.

  • If you used real apples, you could cut them up and give each student a slice at the end of the class. (Check for any student food issues beforehand.)

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