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Free and Easy Back to School Music Class Lesson Planning



Planning for multiple grades can be an elementary music teachers nightmare!  I get it! That’s why I’ve put together some lesson planning tips and a free and easy back to school activity.

Oh whoops! 

I’m planning for eight grade levels next year. I just got asked to teach preschool.


When you’re planning your back to school music class lessons for so many different grade levels, you want to have some variety in what you’re preparing and teaching. And you want to make sure that you stick to a scope and sequence so that each grade level learns different concepts so that student skills can grow and develop over a 5-6 year period.

Here are some tips to go along with the free and easy back to school activity you get when you subscribe to the Free Resource Library.


You don’t want to have to

all day long.

You CAN use the same materials for several different grades.

BUT- you NEED to differentiate the skills that you are teaching, or the students are learning.

Here’s a game you can play with KINDERGARTEN THROUGH SECOND GRADE.

Differentiate how to play the game like this:

KINDERGARTEN- Students may be very shy on their first day in music class.  You can adapt this activity by playing the drum yourself and ask students when it’s their turn to stand up. 

FIRST GRADE- Students will love to play the drum. Don’t worry about the “BEAT”, allow students to enjoy their moment of playing the drum as everyone sings their name.

SECOND GRADE-Ask your second graders to play the rhythm of their name, or stay on the BEAT.  Challenge them!

Overall, your students will love playing this name game at the beginning of the school year.

And, this will give you some ideas on how to differentiate your lessons using the same materials. 

That’s why a SCOPE and SEQUENCE are so IMPORTANT.

You can get a full music curriculum and scope and sequence in this resource.

Back to school music class lesson planning is easy with the year long elementary music lesson bundle.

Music Lesson Year Long Bundle: Lessons, Songs, Games, Activities K-6









And you don’t want to go CRAZY teaching the same thing all day for five days in a row.

It’s hard not too! 

So, you’ll want to have some variety in your lesson plans during those first few weeks of school.

Kindergarteners can’t do the same things that 6th graders can do, and 6th graders don’t want to do the same thing as Kindergarteners—or do they?

That’s something to think about, right! 

How to Structure Back to School Lessons

I usually break down my first-week lessons like this:

  • Hello Song for each grade that students sing every music class.
  • Name Game for each grade- I use some of the same games across grade levels, but differentiate learning goals.
  • Rules and Procedures. I’ve created 2 sets of these, one for primary and one for intermediate. There are similarities in both presentations.

All of my procedures and classroom expectations are taught through songs, games and movement activities.

Remember, you NEED to be SPECIFIC about your expectations.  If you want students to line up quietly- then you need to have an activity that teaches the expectation!

The music teacher ESSENTIALS provides you will all the materials you need to set up your music classroom.  I have included songs, games, activities with posters and flashcards along with audio files to help you set up your classroom procedures and environment.


  Music Class Essentials + BTS Bundle: Songs, Chants, Games, Mp3’s, Decor, Lessons

If you want more details about how to plan your lessons for the first few weeks of school check out this blog post: “My Favorite Back to School Activities.”


I like to use movement for all of my transitions. You can learn more about my ideas and resources HERE in this blog post, where’s there’s more free and easy back to school activities.

Free and Easy Back to School Activity by Sing Play Create

Why use transitions?

I’ve learned that my students need transition activities that get them moving.

I incorporate drumming, body percussion, recorder songs, hand clapping, and songs that I’ve made up to help them transition from one activity or part of the lesson to the other.

As you PLAN  your classroom procedures  consider using movement, songs, games and activities instead of just “directing” your students to do the next thing.

Here’s a great way to use body percussion with your hello activity!


Picture your Kindergarteners coming in the first day.

They are not going to be able to find a spot or even tell you their name.

I use sit spots in bright colors. I ask them to find any color and glue their feet to the spot.

Some will sit down, some will wander, and some will glue their feet to the dot.

TRY PLAYING THE DRUM and sing to them as they come into the room.

“Come on in, find your spot, find a pretty colored dot.” (I sing it on so-mi)

After I get everyone on their dot, I sing this song:

This easy to learn and FREE song is perfect for your PreK-3rd-grade classes. (And yes, I’ve sung it to my 6th graders in hopes of getting a smile or two).

To get the free and easy back to school activity that includes a PowerPoint, poster, audio track,  and the song video, you can subscribe to the Sing Play Create Resource Library.

Prepare for Back to School

You’ll want to have some videos and your audio playlist ready so that you are not using your voice all day long.

I prepare everything in PowerPoint. You can learn more about that HERE.

Free and Easy Back to School Activity by Sing Play Create


Free and Easy Back to School Activity by Sing Play Create

Back to school can be a lot of fun and the way I make it fun is to sing a lot and incorporate movement into all of the activities.

Plan your basic back to school activities using these ideas for a successful back to school!

Here’s hoping your back to school activities are fun too.

If you liked this post, please share it on social media!

Free and Easy Back to School Activity by Sing Play Create

Free and Easy Back to School Activity by Sing Play Create
Back to School Elementary Music Lesson Planning Tips and Freebies for general music teachers.



Meet Sandra

Hi there!  I’m Sandra, one of the authors behind Sing Play Create.  My goal is to provide teachers with interactive resources and activities to improve the effectiveness of their teaching and enhance student learning.

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