This is one of the most common and popular traditional songs that are used when teaching English to young learners and I am also one of these teachers who likes using it in class :). Preschoolers love anything related to animals which means that any content you want them to acquire, it will motivate them and help them acquire it if it goes with the help of some cute animals.
I use these 9 friendly farm animals as my teaching helpers. They are the ones that my pupils will see in the story and two songs that I included in the lesson plan. It would be great if you had actual toys! Otherwise, flashcards are good, too.
You can introduce the farm animals by putting them inside a magic bag or magic box and then some volunteers take them out one by one. Sometimes, what I do is to hide the flashcards or realia around the classroom and them I tell them to find something new that I have brought. Each time I start a new unit I try to do it differently to keep them amused and interested. Once we have them all out, we speak about their colour, size and if they can fly, walk or swim.
There is this lovable story about Old Macdonald that I found in the Robby Rabbit text book which presents some of the 9 farm animals: cow, dog, horse, duck and sheep. I made the video to share it with my little pupils:
Once you have watched the story, there is this website with perfect online games for preschoolers about the farm animals that you could play altogether in class. I am not a preschooler and I love them 😀 If you have a whiteboard, a computer or a tablet; your pupils will have a great time!
The two songs that I like singing and dancing are these ones:
It is really funny to ask your pupils to pretend to be one of the animals in the song and make the animal sounds, they will laugh a lot! It is always great if you take part in it, as well 😉 I am the type of teacher who likes participating in the games and activities I suggest to my pupils.
One oral activity that it is always very successful is to say “The cow says…” and then they all answer “moo” putting their fingers on the head pretending to be cow horns. I do the same with the other 8 animals and for each one we make a different gesture when making the animal sound. You could turn this activity into a competition: the child who doesn’t make the right animal sound sits down and we do it like this until there is only one pupil left who becomes the winner.
Another option is to watch this episode from “Betsy’s Kindergarten Adventures” where she goes on a field trip with her class. Once you have watched it, you can ask your pupils what animals they recognised, how many of each they saw, describe them, etc. When I did it with my groups, I was very pleased to see they were able to answer to all my questions 🙂
If you want your pupils to do some written activity, I suggest this worksheet. On one side there are the Old Macdonal song lyrics and on the other side there is this activity where they have to colour the right bits so the hidden animals appear.