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Kindergarten Music Activities

Steady Beat Music Lesson Activity Ideas “Engine, Engine No. 9”

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I’m sharing some steady beat music lesson activity ideas for the chant and song “Engine, Engine No. 9” Integrate movement, instruments, stretchy bands for interactive learning in music class.

STEADY BEAT MUSIC LESSON ACTIVITY IDEAS

In today’s post I’m sharing some steady beat music lesson activity ideas for the chant and song “Engine, Engine No. 9” Integrate movement, instruments, stretchy bands for interactive learning in music class.

No matter what time of year it is, I always do steady beat activities my students.

The reason is that the steady beat is the foundational skill required for all other rhythmic elements.

Helping young children to experience the steady beat is like helping them learn phonics.

And it’s important to provide a variety of learning experiences to reach all your little learners.

Not only do I vary the types of activities for each grade level, I use a variety of activities in each grade level where students experience beat through visual, aural and physical activities.

VISUAL- SINGING A SONG PATTING THE BEAT ON KNEES WHILE FOLLOWING ICONS

AURAL- LISTENING TO MUSIC FINDING THE PULSE & SHOWING THE BEAT

PHYSICAL- SHOWING or FEELING THE BEAT USING BODY PERCUSSION ACTIONS

There are many songs and chants you can use with these adaptations.

In this video I’ll share activity examples you can use to help your students experience the STEADY BEAT.

FEEL THE BEAT

One of my favorite songs and chants to use is

ENGINE, ENGINE NO. 9 ACTIVITY IDEAS

Let me take you through how I’ll use this song in a lesson.

First I have the students FEEL THE BEAT in their FEET.

I line everyone up in a circle and we’ll pretend to be a CHOO CHOO TRAIN.

I have everyone say ‘CHOO-CHOO’ on the beat.

I lead them around the circle marching on the beat.

I ask them to stay with me. I’ll go SLOW and FAST and then-

I blow the train whistle- CHOO CHOO!

We’ve arrived at the station.

Free music lesson 'Engine Engine No. 9"

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Time for the train to rest- criss cross applesauce hands in my lap, 1-2-3-4 I can clap!

And we sit down in our circle.

I have a chant for you.

I chant the words

ENGINE, ENGINE NO. 9

GOING DOWN CHICAGO LINE

IF THE TRAIN FALLS OFF THE TRACK

WILL I GET MY MONEY BACK?

I talk about the chant for a minute.

Chicago is a city.

Trains used to be more important than cars.

Who has ridden a train?

Next, I pat the beat on my knees and say the chant. I ask the children to pat along with me.

Then I stand up and ask them to make their feet play the beat of the train as I say the chant.

I say, I’m going to say the chant, my feet will play the beat.  See if you can follow me do your best.

This is HEARING AND FEELING THE BEAT.

SHOW THE BEAT

Another way I have them experience aurally is to use a STRETCHY BAND to feel and show the beat.

I love using the stretchy band for these activities because they keep all hands on the band and it’s a different way to show and feel the beat.

I have music tracks for this song, so I play the tracks so I can sit on the floor and use the stretchy band with the children.

I sing along with the track and keep the beat.

After that, I say that it’s time for the train to go back to the station and rest.

I put the stretchy band away.

Everyone takes a deep breath in and out and wave’s goodbye- choo choo to the train.

The next class time, I’ll start with the CHOO CHOO TRAIN ACTIVITY.

I’ll choose a student to lead the class around the circle.

Then I begin to teach the students the words to the chant.

I might use a puppet to help me with this part of the lesson.

READ THE BEAT

VISUAL: BEAT CHARTS WITH ICONS

I’ll point to the BEAT ICONS as I say the chant.

I have that projected on the board.

I ask them to echo my words as I go line by line.

There’s a couple of different things I can do now using the beat charts.

I have some that are printed and laminated.  I can have the students follow the beat on their own chart.

I can have someone come to the board and point as we all say the chart.

I also have heart manipulatives that they can use to point to the beat as we say the chant.

PLAY THE BEAT WITH INSTRUMENTS

NOW IT’S TIME FOR AN INSTRUMENT ACTIVITY

I like to use rhythm sticks for the younger students to play.

I have the picture of the words and the beat on the board.

I ask everyone to play along with me.

HERE’S HOW I DO RHYTHM STICKS

I have helpers pass out the instruments.  I ask everyone to raise their hands up high and take the rhythm sticks from the helpers.

I have everyone place them on the floor.

When the conductor is ready, we pick up our rhythm sticks and show the conductor we are ready.

Hold your sticks out wide.

1-2-ready play.

Gently tap the rhythm sticks on the beat.

After we play our rhythm sticks for a while it’s time to go back to one of the previous activities.

Depending on the time, I will have the students either march on the beat, or use the stretchy band again.

Finally, you guessed it- the train rolls into the station and it’s time for a rest.

Class ends or I can transition to a different activity.

On the third and fourth classes, I’m going to use the activities I’ve previously introduced.

I may only review on the third class time to make sure everyone knows the chant and can follow along on the beat.

Each time, I’ll have more student helpers.

I’ll adjust the activity time to accommodate my student’s needs.

I’ll do more watching and less leading.

SHOW THE BEAT BODY PERCUSSION

ANOTHER WAY TO SHOW THE BEAT is through BODY PERCUSSION

On the fourth class time I’ll introduce another steady beat activity.

I will introduce body percussion moves for each line of the chant.

The moves need to be able to be done on 1 beat.

I begin with one action for the entire song.

This could be marching.

Then 2 actions and up to 4.

This could be 1 foot stomp and 1 clap.

We’ll try to do the chant with the body percussion.

If my students know actions, then I may let them choose, or I can use cards, posters or write words on the board.

We’ll practice together and then take turns showing the actions.

I’ll follow this up with the train movement activity having the students choose the “Engineer” who chooses the action on the beat.

STATION ACTIVITIES AND CENTERS

I’ll have my students do either individual or SMALL GROUP activity with a MANIPULATIVE.

That could be a worksheet where students color the heart beats and then sing their song to each other while pointing to the heart beats.

It could be creating four beat pattern using manipulatives and then pointing and singing to the song.

OR, students could use the printed beat charts and take turns pointing to the beat and singing to each other.

I’ll combine this activity with the Train movement, the body percussion and or the Stretchy Band activity for a complete lesson.

MORE STEADY BEAT ACTIVITIES

ENGINE, ENGINE NO 9 KINDERGARTEN MUSIC LESSON BUNDLE AT THE TPT STORE

LOOKING FOR MORE STEADY BEAT ACTIVITIES?

You’ll want to read this BLOG POST ON 5 WAYS TO TEACH STEADY BEAT with tons more ideas to keep your students moving and learning in music class.

I hope this video and blog post help you in your music class.

Sandra from Sing Play Create
I'm sharing some steady beat music lesson activity ideas for the chant and song "Engine, Engine No. 9" Integrate movement, instruments, stretchy bands for interactive learning in music class.

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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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