Music Toolkit – Silly Songwriting: “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”

What You Need:

  • Visual Aids (animals)


  • Introduce and review song “Lion Sleeps Tonight”:  

“In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight” (x2)

“Oh weeeeeeee, oh weee oh mumboway” (x2)

  •  Offer visual cues of various animals (such as cat, dog, bird, penguin, whale, etc.). An option could be to use silly animal pictures.
  • During lyrical line of “the Lion sleeps tonight” replace “Lion” with the animal chosen. For example: “In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the cat sleeps tonight”.
  • Encourage identification of animal sounds to be used during “Oh wee” portion of song, or keep “Oh wee” portion as is. For example: “Oh meoooooow, Oh meow goes the cat”.

This project provides an opportunity for silly songwriting using common animals to promote engagement and encourage identification of animals and associated sounds. It is a good activity for ages 5 - 12 years.

All activities should be supervised by an adult.


Thank you to Jessica Sturgeon, MT-BC, HPMT for providing this activity.

Possible modifications:

  • Children can use gaze, pointing, or verbally make choices between animals displayed.

  • Children that are able can also “create their own” animal through drawing and/or coloring.