There Was a Little Turtle
Return to The EFL Playhouse Fingerplays and Action Rhymes
There was a little turtle, (Make small circle with hands.)
He lived in a box, (Make a box with both hands.)
He swam in a puddle, (Wriggle hands.)
And climbed on the rocks. (Climb fingers of one hand up over the other.)
He snapped at a mosquito. (Clap hands)
He snapped at a flea. (Clap hands.)
He snapped at a minnow. (Clap hands.)
He snapped at me. (Point at self.)
He caught the mosquito. (Hold hand up, palm forward; quickly bend fingers shut.)
He caught the flea. (Repeat.)
He caught the minnow. (Repeat.)
But he didn't catch me. (Bend fingers only half-way shut.)
- Teach the vocabulary for one segment at a time, followed by the lines and actions of that segment.
- Do not attempt to teach all three segments in one day, especially if you are teaching very young learners. Preschool and kindergarten students will become bored, then frustrated after five to ten minutes of any one activity.
- Use charades to review the following words in the first segment: little, turtle, box, swim, puddle, climb, rocks.
- Use pictures to teach the meaning of mosquito, flea, and minnow in the second segment. Also be prepared to give these words in students' native language(s).
- If you have an outside play area, tape of a small square. Choose a student to be the turtle. Other students must remain outside the square. Call one of the following words: mosquito, flea, minnow, or person. If you call "mosquito," other students must run while the turtle tries to catch them. If you call "flea," other students must jump while the turtle tries to catch them. If you call "minnow," students must walk, making swimming motions while the turtle tries to catch them. All those whom the turtle catches are out. If you call "person," no one should move. Those who do are out. The last person left becomes the next turtle.
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