My favorite 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 and so when September rolls around-or Fall, I like to get into the game songs that also teach musical concepts. I choose these game songs so that we have some easy games to play the rest of the year too and they are great for reviewing or teaching musical concepts. I also like to use them as they create a foundation to our year in Music Class. Here are the main concepts that I try to focus on through these Game Songs:
I like to focus on the Team Work 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 Kinder and a review for First Graders-who are more willing to come up and sing solo's when we play the game.
This is my "Cuckoo" puppet:
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? So, 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 notes, so, mi, 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 have taught in the first quarter so that we can play the games throughout the year.
"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.
You could draw a big tree on the board and attach some paper leaves. Write the names of your instruments on them. Ask students to come up and choose a leaf from the tree. Then show them the instrument. After you've finished showing, then pass out the instruments and have students play some rhythms. They could echo you or you could show them some flash cards. I know they would love this type of activity!
Like to tie into "colors" with your Fall lessons to help our the Kinders? One of my favorite songs that we sing is from the M-K8 magazine. It's called, "I Like the Colors of the Fall". I use this as an activity song K-2. I hand out scarves to match the colors in the song and the students get to wave their scarf when they hear their color. They really like it.
I made a little Freebie for you to help with your Fall teaching:
FALL FREEBIE CLASSROOM TEACHING IDEAS, BULLETIN BOARD IDEA AND PRINTABLES
Here are some ideas you can use that don't require much preparation or props:
Tapping the beat.
Draw 4 leaves on your board and point to the leaves as students play the beat on their knees.
Showing the Rhythm of the words.
Write the words to the song on the board and point as you tap the rhythms.
Asking students to play the beat as you tap the rhythms.
Ask students to echo play the rhythms in the song.
Ask students to play the whole song-rhythmically.
Draw 1 or 2 lines on the board and use the leaves to show so-mi-la.
Sing the song.
Ask students to show you the notes as you sing the song.
Ask a student to place the leaves on the lines to show the melody.
Divide the class in half. Ask group #1 to play the beat and Group #2 to sing.
There are so many fun things you can do in the fall. What are some of your favorites?
If you're interested, I have a wonderful Fall Music Class Bundle