Down, Down, Yellow and Brown.

Here's a little song that I use with my kindergartners and first graders.  I learned this from Dr. Cindy McCaskill during my time observing and student teaching with her in Boulder, CO. 

At this point in the year, my kindergartners have been working a lot with comparatives (really, that's what I do with them the whole year: loud/soft; fast/slow; speaking/singing; high/low; etc.).  This is one of the first songs that I use to really focus on melodic direction with them.  With first grade, I use this as a vocal warm-up (after some age appropriate vocalise) and to review pitch direction.

Here's the song ("lilting-ly" sung- is that a real word?!):

Here are some activities that my students do with this song:
  1. Move with leaves to show the melodic direction.  A couple years ago I found really cheap fabric leaves in the local grocery store.  Every student gets one leaf and they make the leaf "fall from the tree" as the song is sung.  After moving freely with this, we have the leaf change direction in the fall (swooping from side to side as getting lower) on the strong beats of the song.
  2. Move with scarves to show the melodic direction (similarly to moving with the leaves)
  3. We play a descending C-major scale on bells while other students move the leaves of the song.
  4. We track the leaves on a "listening" map that I made (TOTALLY forgot to take this picture, so I will add that photo on Monday!)
  5. We use the cards below to put the text of the song on a magnetic board.  We also put the leaves below in descending order on the board to visually show the melodic direction.


  1. I've done this every year for almost 20 years! :)
    One year I had a really neat group and we went outside, collected leaves, and they pasted them in the H-L pattern on construction paper. (recommend if you try that, smaller leaves work best! overlapping was beyond some of them! :) I also have a cut & paste one that I know fits and they enjoy the manipulatives & making high-low leaf patterns. Enjoy your ideas!

    1. Ohh, what a fun additional activity!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!


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