Posted in For The Love of Music

Farm Animals – Music & Movement Lesson Plan

Who doesn’t love to visit the farm and see all the animals there? There’s a whole bunch of fun songs that go with the farm animals theme and a lot you can do with your kids. Whether you learn the sounds that the animals make or learn the classic Chicken Dance or sing Old MacDonald, this music and movement lesson plan is a classic hit. Continue reading “Farm Animals – Music & Movement Lesson Plan”

Posted in For The Love of Music, Music and Movement Lesson Plans

Spring – Music & Movement Lesson Plan

For those of us living in the southern hemisphere, the warm weather is here. At last the sunny days of short sleeves and bare feet has come!

Then for those of you in the northern hemisphere – how about y’all just save this lesson plan for future use! It’s one to look forward to for sure!

Materials Preparation:

Find a few different beautiful pictures of spring such as blossoms, different coloured flowers, butterflies and bees pollinating flowers.

The songs for this theme are:

As always, do familiarise yourself with the songs prior to the class.

Bring along small percussion instruments for the children to use, such as small drums, maracas or bells for the Instrumental Activity.

Prepare some popcorn beforehand to bring for the children to have as a treat after the lesson!

  1. Hello Song/Warm-up Song:
    • Gather the children together in a circle and greet one another with the Hello Song/Warm-up Song you prefer to use.
  2. Circle Time Songs: 
    • Use 2 or 3 simple songs at the beginning of every lesson just to help the children feel familiar and confident. You can use a parachute that all the children hold onto in a circle in different ways for each song. It’s okay too if you do not have a parachute – you may use a big colourful blanket or none at all.
    • Here are a few suggestions for different songs:
      • I’m a Little Teapot – Using a parachute for this one may not be practical, because the children need to use their arms to be the teapot’s handle and spout.
      • Eensy Weensy Spider – Use the parachute to move with the up’s and down’s in the song.
      • Pop Goes The Weasel – Go round in a circle with the parachute and then make the parachute go high up when the song says “Pop goes the Weasel!”
  3. Introduction of Theme: SPRING
    • Introduce the Spring theme using the pictures you found.
    • Have a little discussion of some of the children’s favourite things about Spring.
    • Teach the children the song Sing A Song Of Flowers – The Kiboomers.
    • This song is a simple song to learn quickly. It especially develops the children’s memories with the order of the different colours of flowers.
  4. Gross Motor Activity:
    • Have all the children stand up to sing and do movements along to Mr Sun, Sun, Mr Golden Sun – Super Simple Songs
      • Wave your hands side to side for “Mr Sun, Sun, Mr Golden Sun”
      • Cover your face when the song says “hiding behind the trees”
      • Be creative with the actions!
  5. Musical Principle Activity:
    • In the springtime, the animals all love to come out from their hibernation and be outside in the lovely warm weather! The rabbits love to run fast and the tortoises like to walk slowly. The children will learn about tempo in music.
    • Explain what tempo is: How fast or slow the music that is being played sounds.
    • Use the portable instrument(s) that you brought to demonstrate fast and slow playing. You can choose any song you know how to play to play fast and then slow.
    • Teach the children that the real musical name for fast is presto and the real musical name for slow is largo. You may add that these words are Italian – a different language in the world that is used for musical terms.
    • Now it’s time to practice playing fast and slowly! Call out to the children to play fast like the rabbit and then slowly like a tortoise on their percussion instruments, so that they understand the concept of fast and slow.
    • Emphasize also that when they play fast, it doesn’t necessarily mean to play loudly and vice versa – when they play slowly it doesn’t mean play softly.
  6. Instrument Activity:
    • Song: Vivaldi’s Spring
    • Display a picture of the composer Antonio Vivaldi and explain that he lived long ago in the 1600s in Italy. He was a very talented musician and composer. He composed beautiful songs about the seasons. One of them was of Spring.
    • Play percussion instruments to the song, specifically practicing how to play fast and slowly.
    • Make sure the children are able to learn how to play on the beat. Count 1-2-3-4 aloud as you play along with the song.
    • Change things up with different actions with the percussion instruments. Play gracefully as a butterfly or move in different directions; stretch upwards onto tiptoes or twirl around like a “spring flower fairy”.
    • Also point out all the different instruments that can be heard during the song.
    • Be sure to cut the song short once the children have lost interest.
  7. Conclusion
    • For one last fun activity song, do The Ice Cream Song – Super Simple Songs – ask the children by a show of hands who loves to eat ice cream!
    • Sing your Goodbye/Winding-down song in your circle.
    • Treat the children to some popcorn. Explain that popcorn looks like spring blossoms on the trees. They will love it!
Posted in For The Love of Music, Music and Movement Lesson Plans

Under The Sea – Music & Movement Lesson Plan

This week’s music and movement lesson is on the theme Under The Sea. I’m pretty sure the first thing that comes to all of our minds is of Sebastian the crab singing “Under The Sea” in his Jamaican accent.

In this theme, there are so many different songs and resources you could choose from. But Super Simple Songs are honestly my favourite. Their songs are of a high standard and are structured very simply, logically and clearly in the progression of the lyrics. Their videos that go along with their songs are just so inviting and wholesome. Children seem to learn Super Simple Songs easily. Go and check out their YouTube channel and be sure to subscribe. You won’t be sorry. You will find many songs that you will love to use.

Materials Preparation:

Find a few different pictures or toys of sea creatures.

Bring along a portable instrument or even a few different ones (if you have) for the Musical Principle Activity. This could be a recorder, mouth organ, ukulele or guitar.

Prepare the songs included in the lesson outline below (you can buy them on iTunes or download them from YouTube). They are:

Familiarise yourself with the songs prior to the class. Bring along small percussion instruments for the children to use, such as small drums, maracas or bells for the Instrumental Activity.

  1. Hello Song/Warm-up Song:
    • Gather the children together in a circle and greet one another with the Hello Song/Warm-up Song you prefer to use.
  2. Circle Time Songs: 
    • Use 2 or 3 simple songs for every lesson just to help the children feel familiar and confident. You can use a parachute that all the children hold onto in a circle in different ways for each song. It’s okay too if you do not have a parachute – you may use a big colourful blanket or none at all.
      • Ring a Ring of Roses (Children hold the parachute in a circle and walk around in a circle, fall down, then jump up, make the “wind” billow the parachute up and down quickly, etc.)
      • Row, Row, Row Your Boat (Children sway from side to side holding the parachute, like rowing a boat, then making big or small waves up and down, and even letting a toy fish or shark “float on the water” i.e. on the parachute)
      • The Grand Old Duke of York (children march in place, lift the parachute up then down, and then salute)
      • Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush (children go around in a circle holding the parachute for the first verse, and then rub the parachute material together in their hands for the second verse – “This is the way we wash our clothes”)
  3. Introduction of Theme: UNDER THE SEA
    • Introduce the Under The Sea theme using toys or pictures you found of different sea creatures.
    • Ask the children to name some of the creatures you show them.
    • “A Sailor Went To Sea” Super Simple Songs – Act out the song! Pretend you all are sailors going to sea to see what you can see in the sea.
  4. Gross Motor Activity:
  5. Musical Principle Activity:
    • The sea can be big and loud during a thunderstorm, then still and quiet on a calm sunny day. The children will learn about dynamics in music,
    • Explain what dynamics are: How loud or soft the note that is being played sounds.
    • Use the portable instrument(s) that you brought to demonstrate loud and soft playing.
    • Teach the children that the real musical name for loud is forte and the real musical name for soft is piano. You may add that these words are Italian – a different language in the world that is used in musical terms.
    • Now it’s time to practice playing loudly and softly! Call out to the children to play softly and then loudly on their percussion instruments, so that they understand the concept of soft and loud.
    • Emphasize also that when they play loudly, it doesn’t necessarily mean to play fast and vice versa – when they play softly it doesn’t mean play slowly.
  6. Instrument Activity:
    • Song: “Under The Sea” by Alan Menken – The Little Mermaid
    • If you like, you may even show the children a picture of Alan Menken and explain that he is a composer and it is his job is to write songs for movies. You could even show a picture of The Little Mermaid.
    • Play percussion instruments to the song.
    • Make sure the children are able to learn how to play on the beat. Count 1-2-3-4 aloud as you play along with the song.
    • You can decide if the children should sit or stand for this activity. You can try to imitate different sea life movements as you play – play like jellyfish, or like a whale, shark or octopus.
    • Also point out all the different instruments that can be heard during the song.
  7. Conclusion
    • If you like, you could do “Baby Shark” again.
    • Remind the children to be super careful while swimming in the sea! They should not swim out too far out by themselves.
    • Teach the children to be kind to the environment; never ever throw litter on the beach as the litter can harm sea life.
    • Sing your Goodbye/Winding-down song in your circle.
Posted in For The Love of Music, Music and Movement Lesson Plans

The Crocodile – Music & Movement Lesson Plan

Here’s my lesson plan for the Crocodile theme!

This lesson was fun to do for the reason that it is an unusual theme. Feel free to use this plan in whichever way that best suits your class age and needs.

Materials Preparation: Find a picture of a crocodile on a tablet to show the children as part of the introduction. Prepare the songs included in the lesson outline below (you can buy them on iTunes or download them from YouTube). Ensure that you listen to and learn the songs prior to the class so that you don’t look like a dummy if you are not sure how the song goes.

  • Hello Song/Warm-up Song:
    • Gather the children together in a circle and greet one another with the Hello Song/Warm-up Song you prefer to use.
  • Circle Time Parachute Activity Songs: 
    • Sing two or three songs using the parachute. These songs are the same ones you use every week just to help the children feel familiar and confident. You can rotate through a few different ones as you feel. These are parachute activity songs that you can use the parachute in different ways for each song. The ones I use with the parachute are:
      • Ring a Ring of Roses (Children hold the parachute and walk around in a circle, fall down, jump up, make the “wind” billow the parachute up and down quickly, etc.)
      • Row, Row, Row Your Boat (Children sway from side to side holding the parachute, like rowing a boat, then making big or small waves up and down, and even letting a stuffed teddy bear “float on the water” i.e. on the parachute – children love to make the stuffed animal bounce up and down on the parachute!)
      • The Grand Old Duke of York (children march in place, lift the parachute up then down, and then salute)
      • Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush (children go around in a circle holding the parachute for first verse, and then rub the parachute material together in their hands for the second verse – “this is the way we wash our clothes”)
  • Introduction of Theme: THE CROCODILE
    • Introduce the Crocodile theme using a nice picture of a crocodile on a tablet or using a poster. You can speak a little about crocodiles, their habitat and diet.

crocodile-2166803_960_720

Can you see the bubbles…?
Popping.. 1, 2, 3
Look out! There’s his snout
Is that…? Could it be?!Yes it’s a crocodile!
Look at his big smile
He’s got lots of teeth
He swims in the water
Just like he ought to
Sometimes hides underneath

Can you see the rushes
Bending…1, 2, 3
Look out! There’s his snout!
Is that…? Could it be?!

Yes! It’s a crocodile!
Look at his big smile
And short little legs
His belly scrapes the floor
As he walks on all four paws
Stomping as he treads!

Can you see the bubbles…?
Popping.. 1, 2, 3
Look out! There’s his snout
Is that…? Could it be?!

Yes it’s a crocodile!
Look at his big smile
He’s got a tail so long
And thick scaly skin
As sharp as pins
He’s (so) very strong

3. Gross Motor Activity: Use your Imagination!

  • Act out the Little Baby Bum Crocodile Song. The song will give you cues as to what actions you will do — like looking at the bubbles in the water and then looking through the bulrushes with make-believe binoculars at a crocodile in the water. The song will describe the crocodile’s big snout, teeth, tail, claws, etc. Act like the crocodile as the descriptive words are sung. You can do this song twice with actions to allow the children to get the hang of it.

4. Classical Spot Activity:

  • “Never Smile At A Crocodile”
  • Ask the children if they would ever smile at a crocodile?
  • Explain that this song comes from the Walt Disney Classic, Peter Pan. Ask if anyone has seen the movie.
  • Explain what the story is behind the song: Captain Hook is terribly afraid of crocodiles! This is because Peter Pan cut off his hand and threw it to Tick-Tock the crocodile who gobbled it up.

5. Musical Principle Activity:

  • Teach the children what a quarter/crotchet note is by showing them what it looks like:

2000px-1-4_note_crotchet_(music).svg

  • Explain that we need different symbols of notes to tell us how long the music note should sound.
  • Show them a picture of the note and teach them that it gets one count.
  • Pretend it is like a crocodile’s big snapping mouth, and clap saying, “One!”

6. Instrument Activity

  • Play along with the percussion instruments to “Never Smile At A Crocodile”
  • Practice playing just the first beat of every bar in the song.
  • Do a variety of different things with the instruments, ie shake instruments fast and slowly, loudly or quietly, shake them up or down, left or right, behind, twirl around in a circle, etc. The children will need to copy what you do.

7. Conclusion:

  • Help children to remember that although crocodiles are fun to look at at the zoo, they are dangerous and they should be extremely cautious to avoid them out in the wild.

8. Goodbye/Winding-Down Song:

  • In your circle, sing your Goodbye/Winding-Down song.