Elementary Music Teacher Blog

Flannelboard & Felt

Posted by admin on December 20, 2010 in Elementary Music, Lesson Plans with No Comments

After my workshop with Lynn Kleiner this summer, I added these resources to my classroom: a sky blue flannelboard and lots of felt!! Here is what www.musicrhapsody.com says about using felt visuals:

“Young Children Love Visuals! These bright, high quality felts are engaging as they encourage participation and  stimulate language development as well as singing. Point to the appropriate felt piece and you will be rewarded with responses from even the quietest music makers.  They love to hold them too, singing when it’s their turn and being rewarded with a chance to add something to the felt board.”

Because this is a new resource for me, I have only used this board with one visual so far this year – “Turkey Feathers” from Farm Songs and the Sounds of Moo-sic! by Lynn Kleiner. However, I do have visuals for “Apple Tree” from Farm Songs and “The Chubby Little Snowman” and “Warm Wendall” from In all Kinds of Weather, Kids Make Music. I will be trying the two winter activities out with K-1 in January or February and the apples in the spring with my older students!

Because I had the funds, I purchased the large flannelboard from www.amazon.com but the medium size should also do just fine. So if you are looking for a new visual, adding a flannelboard and some felt manipulatives is a perfect way to engage all students.

Weather & Holidays

Posted by admin on October 24, 2010 in Elementary Music, Lesson Plans with No Comments

If you are looking for lesson plans or resources about the fall & winter season, or to use around the next two holidays  - Halloween & Thanksgiving – please check in my lessons plans for information. Or if you prefer to write your own, here are some of the resources I am using this year:


  • Five Little Jack-O-Lanterns from In All Kinds of Weather, Kids Make Music! by Lynn Kleiner
  • The Little Old Woman Who Was Not Afraid of Anything – Improvisation & sound story
  • Witch, Witch from Singing Games Children Love ,Volume 1
  • Pumpkin Fat, Costume Fun & Pass the Broom from Singing Games Children Love, Volume 3
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat – Filler story, fun for the kids to sing.


  • Shoo Turkey & Turkey Feathers from Farm Songs and the Sounds of Moo-sic! by Lynn Kleiner
  • Turkey in the Barnyard from Singing Games Children Love, Volume 3
  • I’m the Fastest Turkey & Five Fat Turkeys games


  • Autumn Leaves from MusicPlay for Kindergarten
  • Five LIttle Leaves & Windy Weather from In All Kinds of Weather, Kids Make Music! by Lynn Kleiner


  • Five Little Snowmen, The Chubby Little Snowman, Five Little Jingle Bells & Warm Wendall from In All Kinds of Weather, Kids Make Music! by Lynn Kleiner

Sound Stories

Posted by admin on September 24, 2010 in Books, Elementary Music, Lesson Plans with No Comments

Too Much Noise is a book by Ann McGovern, and I absolutely love making it into a sound story! My lesson plan exposes the students to many Orff instruments (both pitched and non-pitched) and give them an opportunity to play their instrument many times throughout the story. I use this book in grades Kindergarten through 2nd, and it is a hit every time. Several other lesson plans that are sound stories are included on my lesson plan pages of this blog (Froggy books).

Not only does a sound story provide students with an opportunity to perform on & learn about the instruments, it also allows students to experience other ways a book can be read! They explore literature and music together!

To make a sound story with older students, teach the concept of improvisation. I have a couple lesson plans in 3rd grade for improvisation – The Old Woman and Her Pig, The Gingerbread Boy & Jack and Jill. These lessons allow for students to CHOOSE an instrument that makes sense for their character (cow = cowbell, horse = temple blocks, pig = guiros).

101 Rhythm Instrument Activities

Posted by admin on September 5, 2010 in Books, Elementary Music, Lesson Plans with No Comments

This weekend, I have been looking through 101 Rhythm Instrument Activities for Young Children by Abigail Flesch Connors. This resource has many… well, 101 to be exact… activities and songs to use when introducing young children (my kindergarteners) to the numerous rhythm instruments in the music room. Many activities use favorite children’s songs and change the words to be about playing instruments, specifically the sandblocks, rhythm sticks, jingle bells and shakers. With only being a second year teacher, I have been struggling to find creative ways to introduce my kinders to Orff instruments, correct playing techniques and following directions when having an instrument in hand. I have found some great activities in this book that I know my kids will love.

This book can be purchased on Amazon for $10.17 and has great reviews!

Here is what Amazon.com has in the product description: “The perfect book to introduce rhythm instruments to young children. The activities bring music into the classroom and offer ways for children to participate in the music experience, using rhythm sticks, sand blocks, bells, shakers, and more! Children make the sound of the ocean waves using shakers, pretend to be a train using sand blocks, create a rainstorm with rhythm sticks and perform circus tricks with jingle bells. Plus, they learn to play the instruments along with their favorite songs. 101 Rhythm Instrument Activities is perfect for parents, early childhood teachers and music teachers who work with toddlers through age six.”

Musicplay for Kindergarten

Posted by admin on August 28, 2010 in Elementary Music, Lesson Plans with No Comments

This weekend, I had a chance to go through the entire teacher’s binder of “Musicplay for Kindergarten”. I am always on the prowl for resources for K-1, and this one is definitely one I will be using. This curriculum has numerous lessons, ideas and songs that can be used in a Kindergarten music class or in a general classroom. Musical concepts are emphasized in the lessons (dynamics, tempo, steady beat, movement, instruments, etc…), as well as cross-curricular concepts (seasons, shapes, colors, math, science, language, etc…). Before I bought this resource with my budget money this year, I was already using several songs from this book: Pass the Shoe, Autumn Leaves, Naughty Kitty Cat, Old King Glory, A Tisket, A Tasket

Here is an excerpt about this resource:

“This product includes a binder (140+ pages) with 6 performance/accompaniment CDs. The Musicplay for Kindergarten program has been written to be a complete cross-curricular approach to teaching music and to teaching other subject areas through music. This program include songs for all the themes taught in the kindergarten classroom. These are just a few of the themes and academic areas that are included: names, colors, shapes, numbers, alphabet, fall, Halloween, pumpkins Thanksgiving, peace, friends, families, whales, beaches, dinosaurs, helmet safety, traffic safety and more! Musical Concepts are taught through traditional and composed action songs, singing games, singalong songs, chants and activities. This is a program for BOTH the Kindergarten classroom teacher and the music specialist with a real emphasis on integrating learning through music.” -http://www.christmasconcert.com/MusicPlayKindergarten.htm

**Update: During this week of music (August 30-September 3rd) I used these songs from the first few weeks of the Musicplay curriculum: Hickety Tickety, The Sitter Poem, This is My Speaking Voice, and the Melody the Elephant idea. All have been hits with my kindergarteners.

Elementary Music Lesson Plans

Posted by admin on August 10, 2010 in Elementary Music, Lesson Plans with No Comments

Looking for lesson plans? Looking for ideas? Well, look no further! When your mouse goes over the lesson plan tab in the top right, a drop-down list of grades will appear. Just click on the grade you are wanting lesson plans for (K-4) and voilà! The pages are a work in progress, but I have had a chance to upload a few of my lesson plans in PDF form. All you do is click the link and it will download to you. More will be coming as I have time to edit, convert and upload them.

My plans include:

1. The focus of the lesson – rhythm, singing, form, etc…

2. Materials

3. Essential Questions

4. Skills – using Bloom’s words…

5. Assessment

6. Objectives

7. Procedure

8. National and Arkansas Standards

“My Big Event” Improvisation Game

Posted by admin on July 25, 2010 in Elementary Music, Lesson Plans with No Comments

Below is a link to a lesson plan from Music Teachers Helper (I am a follower on Twitter) that I loved as soon as I read it (less than ten minutes ago). The journal would be too much for all the students I teach and for the short time I see them each week, but the actual improvisation activity is great! I can’t wait to try it out!

Follow the website link below (may need to copy & paste) to go straight to this Music Teachers Helper blog post.


Parachute Activities

Posted by admin on June 8, 2010 in Elementary Music, Lesson Plans with No Comments

Parachute Activities With Folk Dance Music, created by JoAnn Seker & George Jones, is a great resource for to use with a parachute. My children are loving it! During this second to last week of school, we have been working on acheiving the different parachute etiquette, parachute positions, trading places under the parachute and using the parachute with a folk dance. Right now we are using disc 1, #1 and #5 – Pop Goes The Weasel. This parachute activity reinforces steady beat, listening, motor/social skills and working as a team. Of course, they earn popcorn bean bag time for good listening!!

I purchased my 12-handled parachute from West Music: http://www.westmusic.com/ProductDetails.aspx?prodid=255128. It is plenty big from my classes of 24-25. However, the middle mesh part has started to rip a little. Nothing a little needle and thread can’t fix!

The parachute can be a lengthy lesson or a filler. I’ve used it for both. The kids get super excited when they see my yellow parachute bag. It has also been used as an award.

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