Ella Jenkins’ classic song, Who Fed the Chickens? has become a popular request at several of the pre-schools I teach at here in Los Angeles. I’ve taken to adding all kinds of new questions for the children to answer, sometimes changing their responses slightly to “I do!” or “We do!” A few examples:
“Who ate the cookies?”
“Who’s got a tummy?”
“Who’s got a friend?” etc.
They never seem to tire of it!
In a class last week, one little boy was smiling and clapping along silently. He was new to class and had yet to vocalize. That particular school is an early intervention program, and the children there have a wide range of abilities and delays. I am never sure what I am going to encounter with new students. A few verses into Who Fed the Chickens, that particular little boy suddenly shouted “Me! Me! Me!” He proceeded to delightedly shout it out at every appropriate spot in the song (or somewhat appropriate, the “we” bits being left out). I thought it was simply a lovely reaction to a fun song, but as it turned out, in nearly every class that day, at least one child had a similar reaction. So many of the children, especially the ones who sing along less often, seemed to really engage with the song. It could be that they just enjoyed shouting and pointing, but I like to think that as I came up with more positive affirmations for them (Who’s got a friend?) and fun, simple things they had in common (Who’s got a tummy?) they found that they could easily and joyfully participate in a song about themselves.
Who’s going to sing it this week? I AM!