Five Little Monkeys is one of those books that stand the test of time; probably because jumping on the bed is a right of passage for childhood.
The book follows a mother monkey trying to get her five children to go to sleep (when one child is hard enough). Upon leaving the room, the children jump up and down on the bed. When one monkey falls off the bed, consequently getting injured, the mother quickly calls a doctor. The medical advice: “No more monkeys jumping on the bed.”
As the story progresses and, upon each time the mother leaves the room, the children continue jumping on the bed and getting injured, resulting in more phone calls to the doctor. Finally, after all the children are resting – technically, bedridden and nursing their concussions – the mother can finally relax.
Besides the always sound advice of avoiding major injury just before bedtime, there are some learning elements that a teacher could draw from this book:
- Counting down the number of monkeys jumping on the bed.
- The singing element with repeated words.
- Dramatic play, such as with puppets or stuffed animals.
- Exposing how parents spend their time when their children finally go to sleep – i.e. celebrating likes it’s 1999.
Finally, the book can easily extend into a circle time activity, demonstrated in the following video clip.
As long as you distinguish that jumping on the bed is dangerous – and that hitting your head would actually result in an E.R. visit – then children will have great fun singing along with this book.
If you’re interest in purchasing this book, click the link here.