Information provided on this page is for classroom use only; not for publication. 2001





Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

Baa, baa, black sheep
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.
One for my master,
One for my dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.



Vocabulary: After introducing the nursery rhyme and saying it several times, discuss some of the new vocabulary such as “master”, “dame”, “lane”, “wool”, “sheep”.

Resources: SCHOOLDAYS, Sept/Oct 1986

This is the project from SCHOOLDAYS.  The children paint the sheep, cut it, the face, and the text box out.  They glue the face and the text box on.  This one was done by either myself or my TA.

Frank Shaffer’s Primary Club
FS-971502 (mini-book reproducible)

Learning Centers Through the Year
Teacher Created Materials #059 1993
(flannelboard patterns)
Rebus Rhyme

Math With Nursery Rhymes
Evan-Moor Corp. 1994

Art: Provide each student with the body of a sheep (similar to the pattern below) photocopied onto cardstock or a similar stiff material.  Have the students cover the sheep’s body with white cotton balls and color the face, ears, and tail black.  Have each student paint two wooden string-type clothespins black.  These will be the legs of the sheep.  When the sheep’s body and legs are dry, clip the clothespin to the bottom of the sheep in the appropriate place to form legs. 

If you want to make your sheep totally black, shake the cottonballs in a gallon ziploc bag with black dry tempra paint.  Shake off the excess paint.

Word Families: Introduce the “ag” family with the word “bag”.  Write “ag” words on index cards along with other word family words; laminate.  Have the students sort out the “ag” family words.

Estimation: Have the students guess how many cottonballs (wool) it would take to fill up a bag.  Have the cottonballs in a brown lunch bag that had been twisted and tied off at the top with a piece of twine.  The students record their estimations on a slip of paper and drop into another brown paper bag.  Once everyone’s estimation is in the bag, open the bag of  “wool” and count out how many cottonballs it contained.  Then record everyone’s estimation on a chart.  Discuss the results.

Gathering Wool Counting Activity:   You’ll need a brown paper lunch bag for each number that you’re working on ( 1 – 5, 1 – 10, 1- 20).  Cut the bags down to about 1/3 to ½ their original size.  Use pinking shears to cut them if you have them.  Label each bag with a number.   Provide the students with plenty of cottonballs.  They will put as many cottonballs (wool) in each bag as is needed to match the number on the bag.

For more fine motor practice, have the students put the cottonballs into the bags using tongs.

Pocketchart Counting Activity: This activity is kind of backwards to the rhyme, but making it this way is easier if you have access to an Ellison machine.  Cut out the appropriate number of black sheep using the Ellison machine.  (Laminate your black construction paper first, then cut them out.  This will keep you from having to cut them out twice.)  Draw a pattern, or use a pattern from a book, of a bag that would be similar to a bag full of wool.  Copy this onto brown construction paper.  Program each bag with a number and laminate.  Place a “bag” in each row of the pocketchart.  The students will count out the correct number of sheep to match the number on the bag. 

If you don’t have access to an Ellison machine, you can program the number on the sheep and have them count out the correct number of bags.

An alternative to this activity would be to place the cutouts in the pocketchart, have the students count how many is in each row and match it to the correct number.

Number Sequencing: Cut out black sheep and program them with a number written on a small piece of white paper, or write the number on the sheep using a white pen or paint pen.  Laminate.  The students will sequence the numbers in the proper order.

Matching Activities: Use the sheep and bag patterns to make different kinds of matching activities such as matching capital/lowercase letters or rhyming words/pictures.  You can also print a color word on each bag, then cut out a sheep to match each color word.  Students match the color word to the correct color sheep.  To match colors, cut out a bag and a sheep of each color.  Have students match them.

Counting Activity: Cut out the appropriate number of bags and sheep for the number you’re working on. (1 – 5, 1 – 10, 1 - 20)   Program the sheep with the numbers, then use a new pencil eraser to make the appropriate number of dots on each bag to match the numbers.  If you use the pencil eraser as a stamp with an ink pad, you’ll get perfectly round dots.  Laminate all.  The students count the dots on the bag and match them to the sheep with the correct number.

Pocketchart Color Word Activity: Write the words to the rhyme on sentence strips but put a 5 inch black where the work “black” goes.  Program 3x5 index cards with the color words; laminate.  While reading the rhyme with the class, change out the color word each time by slipping in a new color word card.  Give each student a small sheep to color and cut out.  Have them color it their favorite color.  Graph the sheep by color and discuss the results.

The Color Black: Make a poster of things that are black by using clip art or having students cut things out of magazines.  After their posters are completed, have them make a chart by listing all the things that they can think of that are usually black. 

Rhymes With Sheep: Have the students make a list of all the words that they can think of that rhymes with “sheep”.  Leave the list up in the room and let them add words to it as they think of them.

Pocketchart Number Words Activity: Write the rhyme on sentence strips, but place a blank ( _____ ) where the number words are.  Place the sentence strips in your pocketchart.   Make number word cards on 3x5 index cards; laminate.  Have the students insert the number word cards in the blanks and read the rhyme aloud. 

You can make this an addition activity by having the last 3 blanks add up to the number word card in the first blank.  For instance,

Baa, baa, black sheep
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, nine bags full.
Three for my master, three for my dame,
And three for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

This is Brittney (when she was in 1st gr) at the zoo. 

This is the closest we've ever come to seeing a real black sheep.

I've been emailed a couple of times by people telling me that YES,

there are totally black sheep.



Baa, Baa, Black Sheep emergent reader


Baa, Baa, Black Sheep








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