First Grade - Music - Lesson 16 - Songs


Share the results of "Folk Song From Home" worksheet from Music Lesson 15.

Recognize that Spanish is the language spoken in Mexico.

Make maracas to use in singing Mexican songs.

Sing a traditional Mexican song in English, recognizing its title in Spanish as La Cucaracha.


Worksheet "Folk Song From Home" from Music Lesson 15

Two pieces of tagboard or construction paper for making booklet cover

Classroom size world map or globe

Pair of maracas, optional

Words and music to La Cucaracha, see below

Paper or cardboard drinking cups, two for each child

Masking tape

Dried beans, lentils, pasta, pebbles

Colorful paper and/or markers for decorating maracas (optional)

Suggested Song Books

Yurchenco, Henrietta. A Fiesta of Folk Songs From Spain and Latin America. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1967.

Jaunty pen-and-ink drawings by Jules Maidoff illustrate this collection of folk songs (melodies only, with guitar chords but no piano accompaniment) from Spain and Latin America.

Phonetic pronunciations of all Spanish texts are given with each line plus background and suggestions and musical games for performance of the songs in the classroom.

Big Book of Latin American Songs. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, 1992.

Piano, vocal, and guitar music for popular songs such as "La Cucaracha," " La "Golondrina," "La Paloma," " Guantanamera," "Poinciana," and "Vaya Con Dios." A fine source for the songs themselves but no information about background nor does it give any help with pronunciation of the Spanish.

Note to the Teacher

The Core Knowledge Sequence for this month recommends two Mexican songs, La Cucaracha (The Cockroach) and Chiapanecas (While There's Music There's Romance). The text for one is taught in English in this lesson; the other, in Spanish will be taught in Lesson 17. The activity for making maracas should be done first in order to provide the children with percussion instruments to accompany the Mexican songs. (The Mexican Hat Dance will be taught as one of the History/Geography lesson for this month and provides another music activity.)


Make sure that all of the students have access to their "Folk Song From Home" worksheets. Going around to each person in the class, have the students read the results to the rest of the students. If possible, the student should sing the song that they have "collected" from BCP DRAFT MUS 49

First Grade - Music - Lesson 16 - Songs

home. Many classroom activities could be developed from this activity. For example, the children could locate each of the geographical places indicated on the worksheet, dates could be put on the board or a chart in order to figure out a chronological order for the learning of these songs. It might turn out that mostly grandmothers were the sources of these songs; that would be interesting information. Some of the songs might be duplicated several times; in that case, it would be interesting to keep a tally of which ones are most repeated.

Once all the songs have been sung and the information tabulated in some order, invite two people to volunteer to decorate a front and back cover for these worksheets, so that it can be a permanent record of folksongs for the class.

Activity for Making Maracas

Ask the class what special country they have been studying this month that is our closest neighbor to the south (Mexico). Have someone find Mexico on the map or globe. Ask: What language do the Mexican people speak? (Spanish) Can someone tell me why people in Mexico speak Spanish? (people who explored and fought for the land were from Spain, many settlers from Spain came to live, bringing their language with them)

Tell the children that they are going to learn a few Mexican songs, but that first they will make a traditional Mexican percussion instrument to use as accompaniment to the songs they learn to sing. If you have been able to bring a pair of maracas to class, show them to the children and shake them so they can hear the typical sound. Say: In Mexico, maracas are made from gourds--which are a little bit like squashes-- that grow on special trees. When the gourds are picked and dried in the sun for a period of time, the seeds inside dry out as well as all the pulp inside the gourds. Then they are all ready to be decorated and used for instruments. Ask whether any of the students have seen maracas used for percussion in jazz or samba bands. If so, let them tell how they are played.

Say: We are going to make our own maracas to use with our Mexican songs.

1. Give each child two styrofoam cups. Tell them that if they will want to decorate the maracas, they could incise designs fairly deeply into the two cups with dull pencils; next, using tempera, wipe or brush on, then off, colored tempera paint which will then remain in the indented designs.

Give them a few minutes to dry, as children choose the "rattling" material they prefer for their maracas.

2. Put a small handfull of dried beans, lentils, small pebbles or other "rattling" material in one of the cups. Each child should use just one kind of material so they can experiment with the different sounds made by different materials.

3. Tape the two cups together with masking tape, with the openings facing each other.

La Cucaracha (The Cockroach)

Note for the Teacher

Some of the children may already know what la Cucaracha means in English. If there are Spanish-speaking students in the class, have them explain the meaning to the rest of the students. We are giving the words to this song in English which you may want to write on the board and BCP DRAFT MUS 50

First Grade - Music - Lesson 16 - Songs

read aloud with the children; the music is written out on the following page and can be projected on the overhead. There are several additional verses (the last of which talks about smoking marijuana) that we have omitted for obvious reasons. Be sure the students know what a Pekinese is, and encourage them to use their maracas to keep a steady rhythm going as they sing the song.


La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha

Running up and down the house,

La Cucaracha, La Cuccaracha,

Quiet as a little mouse,

He gets in trouble, a lot of trouble,

Snooping here and ev'rywhere,

La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha,

Always keeps the cupboard bare.


La cucaracha, La Cucaracha,

Wandered in a dressing room,

A lovely lady, a pretty lady,

Couldn't see well in the gloom,

La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha,

Fell into her makeup bowl,

When she had painted, she nearly fainted,

Thought her face had grown a mole.


La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha,

Met a little Pekinese,

La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha,

Bit his nose and made him sneeze,

The little doggie, the little doggie,

Tho' he dug and dug and dug,

La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha,

He was safe beneath a rug.


First Grade - Music - Lesson 16 - Songs


First Grade - Music - Lesson 17 - Mexican Songs


Listen to a Mexican love song in Spanish.

Review the numbers 1 - 10 in Spanish.

Join in with the Spanish numbers in a Mexican counting song.


Classroom size world map or globe

Words and music for Chiapanecas, see below

Maracas made by students in Lesson 16

Note to the Teacher

Chiapanecas, which the Core Curriculum suggests for May, is a traditional Mexican love song whose words are lovely in Spanish. All the English translations found were terrible, if not misleading, so we suggest that the Spanish words with the music be prepared for use on the overhead. The teacher should sing the song in Spanish, aided by any Spanish-speaking children in the classroom. The rest of the children should accompany the song with their maracas in a 3/4 rhythm as the time signature indicates (point it out on the music to the children). For the section beginning with the words Cuando la noche llégo... (whose tune they may recognize), have the students stay quiet as the words are sung, then come in at the two quarter rests with their maracas. This figure is repeated three times, and they can follow along with the music.

We have included an additional Mexican song along with Chiapanecas for this lesson. It is called "Los Diez Perritos," (The 10 Little Puppies) and reviews the numbers from 1 to 10 in Spanish, and in that way reinforces History/Geography Lesson 46. Be sure that the children have already finished that History/Geography lesson before teaching them the song. The phonetic pronunciation of the numbers is given again in this lesson so that you can review the material with the students.


Have the children take out their maracas and guess what country the songs for today's lesson come from (Mexico). Have someone find Mexico on the map or globe and ask what language Mexican songs are sung in (Spanish). Put the music for the song Chipanecas with its words on the overhead and tell the children to follow along as you sing the song to them in Spanish. (Refer to the Note to the Teacher above for a suggestion about class participation in this song.) Tell them that it is a Mexican love song about someone very dear to the singer.

Los Diez Perritos (The Ten Puppies)

Before teaching this song, review the numbers from one to ten in Spanish:

1. one uno (OO noh) 6. six seis (sayss)
2. two dos (dohs) 7. seven siete (see EH the)
3. three tres (trehs) 8. eight ocho (OH choh)
4. four cuatro (KWAH troh) 9. nine nueve (nno EH beh)
5. five cinco (SEEN koh) 10. ten diez (dee EHS)


First Grade - Music - Lesson 17 - Mexican Songs

Have the children go through the numbers with you several times. Next read the text in English to them all the way through so that they know what is happening in the song. You might ask whether they can think of any songs in English that follow the same pattern (There were ten in the bed, Ninety-nine Bottles of Beer, Ten Little Indians) of counting backwards.

Say: As I sing this song, as soon as you hear and see a number repeated, you are going to join in singing that number. Each number is sung five times in any one verse. The music for the song is very simple, and you can follow along as I sing it for you.

Yo tenía diez perritos (Repeat) I had ten puppies

(Yoh the-NEE-ah d'yehs pehr-REE-tohs)

y uno se cayó en la nieve And one fell in the snow

(ee OO-noh seh kah-YO ehn lah N'YEH-veh)

ya no más me quedan nueve, nueve, nueve, now only nine remain.

nueve, nueve.

(Yah noh mahs meh KEH-dahn N'WEH-veh, etc.)

De los nueve que tenía (Repeat) Of the nine that I had

(Deh lohs N'WEH-veh keh the-NEE-ah)

uno se comió un bizcocho, one ate a bisquit,

(OO-noh seh koh-M'YOH oon bees-KO-choh)

ya no más me quedan ocho, ocho, ocho, ocho, ocho. Now only eight remain.

(yah noh mahs meh KEH-dan OH-choh, etc.)

De los ocho que tenía (Repeat) Of the eight that I had

(Deh lohs OH-cho keh the-NEE-ah)

uno se golpeó su frente One bumped his forehead

(OO-no seh gohl-P'YO soo FREHN-teh)

ya no más me quedan siete, siete, siete, siete, siete. now only seven remain.

(ya noh mahs meh KEH-dahn S'YEH-teh, etc.)

As you go on making yet another puppy disappear, the rhymes for each will be:

uno se quemó los pies one burned his feet

(OO-noh seh keh-MOH lohs p'yehs)

ya no más me quedan seis (sehs) now only six remain

uno se escapó de un brinco one escaped in a jump

(OO-noh seh ehs-kah-POH deh oon BREEN-ko)

ya no más me quedan cinco (SEEN-koh) now only five remain

uno se metió en un teatro one went into a theater

(OO-noh seh meh-T'YOH ehn oon the-AH-tro)

ya no más meh quedan cuatro (KWAH-tro) now only four remain

uno se cayó al revés one fell the wrong way

(OO-no seh kah-YO ahl reh-VEHS)

ya no más me quedan tres (trehs) now only three remain

uno sufrió de un tos one suffered from a cough

(OO-noh soo-FR'YOH deh oon tohs)

ya no más me quedan dos (dohs) now only two remain

uno se murió de ayuno One died of fasting

(OO-noh seh moo-R'YOH deh ah-YOO-no)

ya no más me queda uno (OO-noh) now only one remains.


First Grade - Music - Lesson 17 - Mexican Songs


First Grade - Music - Lesson 17 - Mexican Songs