We will read 三只青蛙 (Sān zhī qīng wā) ‘Three Frogs’ this Mandarin Song and Story Time. It is a digital book written and illustrated by 12 year old Xiao Xiao Aurora. It is based on the ‘3 Jelly Fish sitting on a rock’ song, but with Frogs, a log, and a twist at the end 🙂 We used ‘Story Jumper’ to create the book, which students and teachers can also use to make their own Chinese story books for free. Here is our ‘Three Frogs’ story:
This story is great for exploring counting forwards and backwards, the concept of ‘none’ 没有 (méi yǒu)，measure words, position, 上 (shàng) and 下 (xià) (as in jumping on and off ) and onomatopoeia. Making the song into a book form means we can read it as a story (to hear the tones) and then sing it as a song too 🙂
Remember singing the song with Jelly Fish instead of frogs?? 三条水母! (Sān tiáo shuǐ mǔ!)
We can use any animal that likes jumping from a rock into the water for this song! 水母 (shuǐ mǔ) 青蛙 (qīngwā) ‘frogs’, 鳄鱼 (èyú) ‘crocodiles’ etc. (not that I have ever seen a Jelly Fish or a Crocodile jump from a rock 🙂
The lyrics to the 3 Jelly fish song are at the bottom of post. Can you see the differences in the frog version? Of course Jelly Fish 水母 (shuǐ mǔ) has been changed to Frog 青蛙 (qīngwā). But also the measure word has to change too, the measure word for Jelly Fish being 条 (tiáo) and the measure word for frog being 只 (zhī) . We also have the frogs sitting on a log 原木 (yuán mù) instead of a rock 岩石 (yán shí).
We will also link this story/song with lots of other songs that have 上 (shàng) ‘up/above/over etc.’ and 下 (xià) ‘down/below/under etc.’ in them. In the Jelly Fish song these are also used for ‘on’ and ‘off’ (jumping up ON, and jumping OFF down). Children soon start to make the connections! Because these are simple characters too, children can try and make them with their bodies like this:
A good song and video to keep watching for ‘Up/Down’ is the Groovi Pauli ‘Going Up Going Down’ song, which you can watch by clicking on the song name! And don’t forget our ‘Where is the teacher?’ song that has ‘Up there’ and ‘Down there’ in it. We move our shoulders ‘Up and down’ in our Clap hands song. Our ‘London Bridge’ activity too has ‘falling DOWN’ in there. You can watch it here but click on the London Bridge link for more details and lyrics of the song.
If you want to have fun at home, make some Jelly Fish, a rock and a bowl of water, or an indoor set up like this one below, and you can act out the song with your little one. Talk about making the jellyfish out of waterproof materials so that they don’t go soggy and rip! We used plastic bowls and cut up plastic shopping bags for tentacles. You could also talk about the correct disposal of plastic bags so that we don’t hurt our Jelly Fish in the sea too!
Here are the lyrics to the ‘Three Jelly Fish’ song –
sān tiáo shuǐ mǔ, sān tiáo shuǐ mǔ , sān tiáo shuǐ mǔ zuò zài yán shí shàng, yì tiáo tiào xià
liǎng tiáo shuǐ mǔ liǎng tiáo shuǐ mǔ, liǎng tiáo shuǐ mǔ , zuò zài yán shí shàng, yì tiáo tiào xià
yì tiáo shuǐ mǔ, yì tiáo shuǐ mǔ, yì tiáo shuǐ mǔ, zuò zài yán shí shàng, yì tiáo tiào xià
méiyǒu shuǐ mǔ, méiyǒu shuǐ mǔ, méiyǒu shuǐ mǔ, zuò zài yán shí shàng, yì tiáo tiào shàng
yì tiáo shuǐ mǔ, yì tiáo shuǐ mǔ, yì tiáo shuǐ mǔ, zuò zài yán shí shàng, yì tiáo tiào shàng
liǎng tiáo shuǐ mǔ liǎng tiáo shuǐ mǔ, liǎng tiáo shuǐ mǔ , zuò zài yán shí shàng, yì tiáo tiào shàng
sān tiáo shuǐ mǔ, sān tiáo shuǐ mǔ , sān tiáo shuǐ mǔ, zuò zài yán shí shàng