Library Locations Search site

Musical Garden Theme

  • May 13, 2011
  • Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard

Music in a Box

As we welcome spring, this lesson includes using children’s literature that is based on a popular folk song, “Inch by Inch.” The book selection also has the song and music, including guitar chords, available at the end of the story. Children enjoy singing along with this story, providing opportunities for attending behavior and word fluency. 

Book Title:  Inch by Inch the Garden Song

Appropriate Audience:  Preschoolers through early elementary

Author/Illustrator:  David Mallet & Ora Eitan

Literacy Goals:

  • Phonological Awareness:  This story/song has rhythm, rhyme, and also melody to facilitate opportunities for fluency and practice.
  • Print Motivation:  Young children enjoy the pictures of the boy who is planting a garden with his dog.  
  • Vocabulary:  The illustrations give visual clues that assist in vocabulary development.
  • Print Awareness:  There is repetition of the text, “inch by inch, row by row.”
  • Letter knowledge:  Using the melody of the song facilitates word and sound recognition.
  • Narrative:  Singing the story is a great way to learn the story sequentially.

Activities/Extensions with Music:

The text of this story is an actual folk song, which could be played for Library Story Time while the book is being read to the group. The song tells the story of a gardener, and gives an opportunity for socio dramatic play as your audience could pretend to plant gardens, or become growing plants: flowers or vegetables themselves.

Creative moment opportunities might include using colorful scarves and dancing to “The Waltz of the Flowers” by Tchaikovsky, or “Tip Toe through the Tulips” performed by Tiny Tim.

Circle games that include “The Farmer In the Dell” and “Oats, Green Beans and Barley Grow” are other activities that are garden-themed and involve musical literacy involvement.

Create a Library Garden!  Celebrate spring by providing opportunities for your membership to participate in the planting of a flower garden. This activity might be a great way to provide opportunities for increased community involvement that might include donations from local nurseries or garden club.

Create a story board using the illustrations.  Assist in retelling this story using pictures and the story sequence.


Materials would involve the external elements you might add with this story, based on your community, audience, time and space. Song selections were listed, along with materials such as colorful scarves. Music makes such a difference!

©MacPhail Center for Music, 2011


Post a Comment

Required Field