My favorite music class fall lessons are game songs. Here in Arizona, we don’t have a fall…unless you count the weather falling below 100 — finally! We’ve been in school since the beginning of August, so when September rolls around, I like to get into game songs that also teach musical concepts. My favorite fall music lessons incorporate the basics of singing and playing music.
I choose these game songs so that we have some easy games to play during the rest of the year as well. Plus they are great for reviewing or teaching musical concepts. I also like to use them to create a foundation for our year in music class. Here are the main concepts that I try to focus on through these game songs:
- Pitch Sight Singing.
FAVORITE FALL MUSIC LESSON #1
You may think that that’s a lot for the first eight to ten weeks of school, but most of the game songs enable me to teach dual concepts, especially rhythm and pitch. All of the game songs can also be used to teach teamwork and build classroom community. I like to focus on the classroom community building aspect of playing the games early in the year because children need to feel safe in my classroom, and I want everyone to feel like they get a chance to enjoy the musical experience. I like Coo Coo (Cuckoo) for my Kinders and First Graders. I use it as an intro to pitch for Kinders and a review for First Graders, who are more willing to come up and sing solos when we play the game.
This is my “Cuckoo” puppet:
FAVORITE FALL MUSIC LESSON #2
It seems like there’s a revolving door at my school, and every year I have to teach everything all over again. Maybe this is true for you too? Therefore, I like to use “Doggie, Doggie, Where’s Your Bone” and “I Had a Dog” with second and third graders. I sing the songs with both and review the notes so, mi and la, but I save the game for “I Had a Dog” for the third graders. I made one up and they love it because they get to pretend to be little doggies in the game.
Both of these games are great to teach in the first quarter so that we can play the games throughout the year. If you’re interested, I’ve paired “Doggie, Doggie Where’s Your Bone” and “I Had a Dog” in a music teacher resource. You can find the resource by clicking on the graphics above or clicking here: “Music Lesson: “Doggie, Doggie Where’s Your Bone” and “I Had a Dog.”
FAVORITE FALL MUSIC LESSON #3
“Fall is Here” is also a favorite Kodaly Game Song. I add scarves to the game and my students really like it! When the “birds and flowers disappear,” the leaves get to wave a scarf and choose who falls down. Soon the whole class is on the floor. I made a little freebie for you to help with your fall teaching. It includes all of these easy to use teaching resources. You’ll want to subscribe to my free resource library to get the FREE FALL LESSON “Fall is Here.”
Here’s a simple lesson plan idea for “Fall Is Here.”
- Teach students the rhythms. Have them tap and say the rhythms.
- Teach the solfege by echo singing each phrase.
- Ask students to read the words.
- Now sing and sign together.
Here’s how I play the game:
- Students stand in a circle.
- One student is in the middle and is the “tree.” All the other students are birds and flowers. As the students sing the song they move around the tree. On the words “disappear,” the students melt to the ground.
- Try using scarves with this activity. Create a garden of flowers with some colors like pink, yellow, orange and then use the blue and purples for birds.
- Another idea is to have the tree use a brown scarf and when it’s time to disappear, the tree waves it’s scarf in front of the student who then falls to the ground. The last student standing becomes the new tree.
- Incorporate leaf sounds on percussion instruments.
- Incorporate xylophones for melody and bass.
- Use for assessment of so and mi.
My favorite fall music class lessons reflect my desire to use thematic materials to help students connect to the concepts and focus on the basic music concepts at the beginning of the school year. I know your students will love some of my favorite fall music class lessons too!
If you’re interested, you can check out all of my Fall Music Class lessons by clicking on the graphics below:
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