Number one for English language teachers

Children's songs: Old MacDonald had a zoo

Song words and audio for this popular song, plus activities to bring the song alive.


Before the song

This is a nice variation on Old MacDonald had a farm. Children usually love wild animals and will enjoy doing the funny noises.

  • Pre-teach or revise names of various wild animals using pictures
  • Elicit from the children what sounds these animals make
  • Check that children understand the word ‘zoo’


During the song

Children and teacher can make up new verses about animals they like with appropriate noises – after the two sung verses you can hear just the instrumental and children can sing their new verses along to this background music.

Create large cards for all the children with the following word or letter written on them (it doesn’t matter if two, three or more children have the same – get them sitting together and helping each other).

Children sit in a circle and listen to the song, when they hear the word on their card they either jump up with it or hold it up (this activity encourages them to listen carefully and pick out individual words – and it’s fun).





After the song

Create a Zoo display – children choose their favourite zoo animal and draw a picture of it in the zoo. Put all the pictures together to create a zoo. Older children can also write some information about their animal under the picture

All songs and song lyrics © Kathryn Harper and John Cornish.

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