KS1 Music: Sun, sea and song! 6: When I was one I sucked my thumb


  • Jumpy, energetic rhythms
  • Repetition

You will need...

...to be familiar with the words and music of the song. To have hands, voices and instruments ready for the activities.

Before you start...

Recall events from last time - how Suki and Nigel reached the Golden Island and found their way to a cave which magically opened.

The tutorial video

Tutorial: When I was one I sucked my thumb

Nigel and Suki enter the cave and inside they find a treasure chest...and a skull and crossbones!

  • Learning Verses 1 to 4 of the song.
  • Recognise the high notes in the chorus - which descend - or get lower.
  • Sing in two parts - Group B repeating what Group A sings.
  • Spot how Verse 1 and Verse 2 are similar. Identify which lines are repeated.

Song: 'When I was one I sucked my thumb'

Learn with the vocal version of the song.

Then polish your performance with the backing track.

Download / print the song lyric sheet.

Download / print the song music sheet.

Sing with the vocal version of 'When I was one I sucked my thumb'
Sing with the backing track of 'When I was one I sucked my thumb'

Activity: Clapping to a beat

The activity is based on the music of the song: Nigel claps different fast / slow rhythms and the children copy.


  • Working together as a class, the children take it in turns to play their own repeated made up rhythm. The rest of the class can then copy these.
  • In pairs, Person A claps a rhythm. Person B copies it. This could be a fast or slow rhythm. Then swap, so that Person B goes first.
  • Person A and Person B clap their made up rhythms at the same time as each other. They can clap them fast or slowly.
  • Children repeat the above, using percussion instruments.

Story: The Golden Crab - Part 3

Audio with scrolling text

The fisherman goes in search of Prince Hans and finds both him and his brothers - now transformed by the witch into ravens.

Princess Rose is delighted to be reunited with Hans and the following morning, when Hans has failed to return to his raven shape, they realise their love for each other is even stronger than the witch’s spell.

Story transcript

Listening music: Padstow Lifeboat (composed by Malcolm Arnold,

Focus: major key / tempo

  • This piece is about a lifeboat. Can the children hear the lifeboat’s horn repeated at regular intervals?
  • The instruments that are playing this piece are brass instruments, like the trombone and the trumpet. They are playing together in a group called a brass band.
  • Is the tempo fast or slow? (Fast!)
  • This piece sounds happy and bright. That’s because it is in a major key. Music in a major key tends to sound happy.
  • This piece is a march. Children could march around the room in time to the music. Or they could clap in time to the beat.


Teacher's Notes
Song sheet
Music sheet

More episodes

4. Suki over the ocean
5. A sailor went to sea, sea, sea
7: Song medleys