November Music Class: It's Not Just About Turkeys!

November Music Class: It's Not Just About Turkeys!
Music class in November can turn into Turkey time, but I feel that my students are ready to up their music skills and so I choose songs and activities that give them opportunities to grow musically. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t use Turkey songs and games, it just means I’m trying to stick to the sequence in the curriculum. I also like to integrate character education concepts into the music curriculum. Isn’t it just the sweetest thing when children sing songs about thankfulness? It’s why my music class is not just about turkeys!

 #1 SET THE STAGE

First I like to set the stage.   I tell a very short story about how the Native Americans saved the lives of the Pilgrims and taught them how to fish and hunt and grow corn. I use some videos that help students visualize the story. Then I center my music class activities around Thanksgiving themes and chose activities that support the music standards and skills we are working on in November. This is a Navajo song, “Grinding Corn” but it’s a great activity song for steady beat.

 This video shows how the Wampanoag Native American Tribe lived during the time of the Pilgrims.

 The first Thanksgiving by Scholastic, video can set the stage for your November Music Lessons.

#2 CHOOSE THE ACTIVITIES

I find that I can keep my students on track by using a variety of learning opportunities throughout the month. It’s the perfect time to implement station activities. Students can work in small groups, socialize and learn concepts at the same time. Then I bring the class back together for a whole group activity like “The Turkey Lurkey” or “Turkey, Turkey, Where Are You Hiding?”  I also like my students to be experiencing a lot of instrument playing time. This get’s them super excited too and I’ve found it’s just easier management when they are engaged in instrument playing activities. I have my concepts chosen for the month of November and then I choose activities that support those concepts. At this point in the year I am helping students develop skills in playing instruments and reading notes.

STATIONS

SINGING

PLAYING

NOTE READING

GAMES

DANCES

SMALL GROUP AND WHOLE GROUP ACTIVITIES

#2 SET UP THE ACTIVITIES

Here’s one way I organize my lessons when I’m using station activities:

CLASS TIME LESSON OUTLINE IDEA:

Whole class warms up voices:

Whole class sight sings:

Whole class practices skills:

Class breaks up into small groups and is assigned a station area.

Whole Class comes together to review and close lesson.

Here are my selections:

If you’re interested in using this chart- just subscribe to my newsletter and Free Resource Library. You’ll receive an email with the password and then have access to all of the freebies.

If you’re looking for some more ideas about stations in music class, you can read about my November Music Class stations here:

NOVEMBER MUSIC CLASS STATIONS

 

 

#3 VARY THE ACTIVITIES

Sometimes I’ll change a station if I find that the students have conquered the skills. Students enjoy playing a game or go to the smartboard for a different way to practice the same skills.  In fourth grade, I also use stations for recorders. I like using stations for recorders in music class  because then I can work with small groups and give more personal attention to a student who may be struggling. And, it’s a great opportunity for assessment. If you’re just starting recorders, you’ll like the FREE RESOURCE: Thanksgiving BAG that’s in the FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY. Just subscribe and then you’ll recieve an email with the password to some fantastic freebies to help make your teaching job easier. You’ll find: FREEBIES:

Thanksgiving BAG- color notes and recorder songs:

November Lesson Planner:

Fall Rhythm Flash Card Activities:

I plan a different set of activities for each grade. Sometimes I do use the same activity for different grades and I’ll just swap out the flash cards for that grade level. I will have a folder with worksheets for each grade too which makes it easy to switch between classes.

#4 ACTIVITY SONGS

I typically do not use worksheets for Kindergarten. Kindergartners like to pretend and imagine to be animals and so I prefer to do movement activities with them as part of the lesson where they get to be turkeys.  I have lot’s of favorite songs Recently I found this adorable video from Thailand of a performance of the song, “I’m a Very Fine Turkey”.   This video shows me a new way we can learn music skills from this song. I love how the students are playing xylophones, echoing the gobbling sounds of a turkey. I believe they are playing low C/G and then high C/G.  And I have to admit that I love to watch the Kinders act like little turkeys in the barnyard and when I teach them this song. I’ve used it as an activity song. First the boys get to be the turkey’s in the middle of the circle, and then the girls. The students on the outside of the circle sing the song.

#5 MORE LESSON RESOURCE IDEAS

I’m using my TURKEY VOCAL EXPLORATIONS and they really like these.

          NOVEMBER VOCAL EXPLORATIONS with a TURKEY with PRINTABLES

 and learning to sing mi-so-la. I use the game song I wrote “Turkey, Turkey Where are You Hiding?”

                         TURKEY GAME SONG* KODALY MELODY PRACTICE* ORFF ARRANGEMENT
One of my very favorite songs is “Over the River and Through the Woods”

#6 GUITAR AND UKULELE

We’re just getting started in our guitar curriculum. As students have already learned C chord last week and I will be presenting the F and G chords to them. I have some easy songs for them to play in a power point presentation. Some of them are nursery rhymes like Frere Jacques and Row, Row, Row Your Boat. In addition, I’ve found that my student love some of the songs from M-K8.  “I’m Gonna Play Guitar” is a great song to learn the G chord.
I also will have them work on “I’ve Got the Turkey Blues” a song that I wrote. We’ll learn A7, D7 and G7 chords to play this funny song.
 Thanksgiving Song *Singing *Guitar *Piano *Mp3 Track "I've
Most of all I’m grateful for the chance to share with you!  For me November isn’t just about turkeys, it’s about teaching music!  What are some of your easy November lesson ideas?
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