Children's Stories and Songs

with Donna Rhodenizer

Children’s Stories and Songs with Elementary Music Specialist and Composer Donna Rhodenizer

Donna loves to include dramatized stories, participatory stories, soundscapes and singing stories in her elementary music classroom. 

Participatory songs are a wonderful way to stimulate creative responses from students. They love to hear stories and there are many ways to keep them engaged within the framework of the story.

Dramatized stories and soundscapes help students stay focused and can be used as a brain break or to wind down at the end of a class.

Cambridge Dictionary:

Soundscapes are when we use sound and music to create the atmosphere of a story being told. These sounds can be background noises, sound effects, or musical instruments that sounds like what is happening (e.g. using a maraca to sound like rain).

Join Donna as she demonstrates the art of storytelling some of her favourite elementary classroom stories. Then get ready to share your own version with your students and watch the magic unfold!

It's Raining, It's Pouring

It's Raining, It's Pouring is a children's storybook that kids, parents, teachers and elementary students will love to read and sing together. Donna Rhodenizer reads and sings this classic children's song which has been extended by author Kin Eagle. Whether using this book in an elementary music classroom, homeschooling, or just for fun, the additional lyrics are great for read-aloud, singing along and for discussing with young readers. Also great for English as an additional language and general English language development. Elementary teachers, parents and grandparents will enjoy the time they spend reading together with young readers. Purchase this book on Amazon

Purchase this book on Amazon

Hand Hand Fingers Thumb

Readers and listeners have lots of rhythmic fun with the simple text of this story. Lots of monkeys, lots of thumbs, lots of drumming, and lots of fun! Add body percussion or drums to the story, or just read along with Donna.

The Boy with the Drum

Young students can watch and listen as Donna Rhodenizer reads the book. Parents and homeschooling families will also enjoy this children's story book. Rhythmic language, a beautifully illustrated children's book, opportunity for reading along, and adding sounds with voices and instruments make this a great music activity for teachers and their students, and a great read-aloud activity for all young readers.

Herman the Worm

Get ready to chew some bubble gum, play with your yoyo and meet Herman the worm, who eats everything in sight – maybe even those who listen to this story!  

Herman the Worm is included with 19 more fun songs and stories in Donna’s Camp Song Collection. You will find Herman in the section called “Songs with disgusting lyrics  - that make us say “Eeuw!” 

The Rooster Story (Mr. Stingyman)

This is one of my favourite stories to tell to my students. They love adding responses during the story and they do so with a bit more zip and zest every time they arrive at a familiar response pattern. The humorous predictability of the story is a delight for children, from the first hearing (when they are surprised) and with subsequent hearings when they anticipate the events that are about to unfold. Also included in Donna’s Camp Song Collection, this story is a fun addition to include at any time of year.  

Camp Songs come in a variety of categories:

Songs with disgusting lyrics 

that make us say, "Eeuw!"

       Found a Peanut

       Herman the Worm

       Tom the Toad

       Action Songs

       Bim Bum

       Dum Dum Dada

       I'm Glad I am a Camper

       Waddle-ee Ahcha

Call and Response / Echo Songs

       The Bear Song

        Boom Chicka Boom

        Going on a Bear Hunt

        The Moose Song 

Sing-along Songs / Story Songs

     Banjo Song / My Old Banjo

     The Chicken Song

     The Fox

      Long-legged Sailor

      Old MacDonald Mash-up

      Rattlin' Bog 

Canons / Rounds

       A Ram Sam Sam

       Fire's Burning

       One Bottle o' Pop


The Rooster Story

Clap and Clang

This simple story is the backdrop for an exploratory soundscape experience. Joe likes to create different sounds. Students also enjoy exploring different ways to make those same sounds using classroom rhythm instruments, body percussion or found sounds (non-musical objects that are pressed into musical service).

Teacher Tutorial

Suggested Extension Activities - download pdf

Sam and the Beanstalk

Donna re-tells the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, adapting this familiar folk tale as a soundscape.  Students are given the opportunity to play instruments and add sound effects as the new star of the story "Sam" (or whatever name you choose) discovers magic at the top of the beanstalk. A bit of drama, a bit of music and a lot of fun for your K-3 music classroom.

Suggested Extension Activities - download pdf