Here’s a fun fall song for Preschool through 3rd grades to sing, move, play instruments and create rhythms.
This post will give you lesson activities you can use over 4 class times.
This song is a so mi do song. You can choose whether you’re going to use that or not in your class, depending on your teaching methodology.
In this song we have quarter note eighth Now join eighth notes, quarter rest and half note rhythm.
FALL MUSIC ACTIVITIES FOR ELEMENTARY MUSIC CLASSES
TOSS THE LEAVES SONG LYRICS
Teach the students the song and lyrics first. You can teach them by echo clapping the words.
Then echo sing the melody to them.
Finally, sing along with the music tracks.
TOSS THE LEAVES ALL AROUND
SWIRLING, WHIRLING TWIRLING TO THE GROUND.
TOSS THEM HIGH, TOSS THEM LOW.
TOSS THEM UP AND DOWN YOU GO.
Then you can do the hand actions.
TEACH THE STEADY BEAT
If you’re using this activity with our preschool, kindergarten, and even first graders, you can choose what you want the steady beat to sound like. You might want it to be a drum, or you may want to try a shaker or maraca.
First, I’ll have them pat the beat with the music and then I’ll have them play an instrument while I chant it again.
Then I’ll encourage them to sing and to play the beat.
You may want to divide the class into two groups and have half the class play the beat and the other group sing the song.
The next class, I’ll review or teach them some of the words and just have them echo repeat. And I would use hand clapping to teach them the words with echo chanting and singing.
Now let’s play the rhythms with instruments. This will give the students another way to experience beat and rhythm.
I’ll have them echo chant me on rhythm sticks chanting, then singing and finally with the music.
There is sheet music with this, so you can put the sheet music up on the board and you can show them the notes and show them the rest and have them help you decode the rhythms of this cute little chant that you can do in first and second grade.
If you’re introducing the half note, then you could ask the students what’s happening on the last word of this chart.
Ask them to explain it to you. Why did you go like this? Why are you holding it with your voice? How do we do that with the rhythm sticks?
LEARN TO PLAY THE MELODY
The sheet music also comes in color notes. So you could get out the boom markers or your colored xylophones or your instruments. If you label them with colors, the bells, you could have your students play this song on a color note coated instrument, and the sheet music is in there.
You can put this up on your PowerPoint on the screen, and then you can go through the notes and have the students call them out or sing them out.
CREATE GROUPS FOR EACH PART
You can also have your younger students play instruments and you could have the shakers playing the beat. You could have others on a xylophone playing this on the steady beat on C.
Now you can divide the class into three groups and have some singers, some xylophone and some shakers. Have each group play alone and then put the groups together.
The students love this type of activity. It’s their Class band!
First graders can handle doing that pretty well. Second graders love to do that. You could add a fourth station in the second and third grades. They could play the melody notes.
You’re going to have singers, you’re going to have xylophone, you’re going to have shakers, you’re going to have a melody group all working together to make music.
WORK IN SMALL ENSEMBLE GROUPS
After you’ve had the whole class experience, all those different stations, then you can with your second and third graders, you can divide them into small groups and have them work together, doing all those things in one group.
Organize each group to have 1 or 2 playing each part. Give them the sheet music and have them play together.
Do this activity as a whole class. So you’ll have 4-5 ensembles all playing at the same time. But, the students have to hold their own in the small group. I have them sit in rows so they can all see the music.
Then give them time to work together in their small groups.
Finally, allow them to share their song with each other.
After you’ve taught the beat and the song to everyone, either in chat or singing form, then with your younger students you might want to have them do an exploration with some different instruments.
Use what you have in your classroom and put them in front of you. Some ideas are sand blocks or a guiro, or even finger cymbals or whatever you think sounds like leaves and ‘fall’.
And you could ask the students what other sounds do the leaves make, and how about this one, and have them experiment and then pass out the instruments for them to play while you’re singing the song?
If you can, you could use your piano to play it, or you could play it on the xylophone while you’re singing it. So that adds some texture to the song and not just the sounds of their instruments.
So you could have a leafy ensemble doing that with your kindergartners
IMPROVISATION FOR 2ND AND 3RD GRADERS
Ask your students to create an ostinato that goes with the song using one of their leafy instruments.
Have them play it for each other. Then have the class play it during the song. Consider having 5 groups of instruments and play all parts.
So you can take this activity all the way from a very simple chant to listening and feeling the beat, decoding rhythms, and then creating and improvising and even performing.
And there’s lots of opportunities in this free resource with the sheet music and in the color coded and also the playing sheet music for you to have them experiment with.
And you can just print that out and have that for them. And then if you can have another piece of paper where they can write a very simple rhythm on it, you know, just draw the bar line and one line and have them write their rhythmic ostinato sonnet or have them copy one of the patterns from the song on it and then play that.
That works too. There are tons of opportunities using an easy song and the music classroom during fall.
SCARF MOVEMENT FOR FALL
After we’ve done instruments, of course we can bring out our scarvess and the younger students will really enjoy a movement activity. Try having some of the students playing the instruments and some of the students are waving their scarves pretending to be the falling leaves.
And if you want to be in the game, you could be the tree. And the students are the leaves and they’re dancing around you and the other students are playing the instruments.
This set of materials can turn into a whole ensemble of music and movement.
Try high and low, or up and down, swirling, and twirling.
Challenge your third grade students to come up with patterns for each phrase in the song.
You can also use the song as a ukulele lesson. It’s very easy. They can play it all on the C chord and just play the steady beat all the way through on one chord.
I think this makes a great first song for your students if you’re starting in the fall.
This is a free resource. There is also a fun game and some manipulatives that you would need to print out to play the game. And there is a bulletin board idea. If you need a fall music bulletin board, it has the graphics and the design in it for you.
Just go and download that from the Sing Play Create free resource library.
RESOURCES THAT GO WITH THIS ACTIVITY
FALL STEADY BEAT AND RHYTHM ACTIVITIES
FALL PREK-K-1 MUSIC & MOVEMENT ACTIVITY LESSON BUNDLE
FALL K-6 MUSIC LESSON BUNDLE
Looking for more fall music activity ideas?
READ THIS POST: Elementary Fall Music and Movement Activities
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