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

Learning Direction – Music & Movement Lesson Plan


This week’s music and movement lesson is on learning Direction. As in – up, down, behind, left, right, in front of, etc.. Here’s a great topic to reinforce using music to help our kids understand us exasperated parents when we try to direct them to find their other shoe, sock or toy. Yes folks… this topic of Direction deserved it’s very own theme of the week! I can just imagine all the parents applauding the choice of theme, perhaps even shedding a tear of joy.

Materials Preparation: Print or draw a big, bold picture of an arrow on an A4 cardboard. You may even laminate it if you wish. Here’s one you could use:

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Also bring a portable instrument or even a few (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:

  • “Here We Go” Jack Hartmann
  • “Hickory, Dickory…Crash!” Super Simple Songs
  • “Upside Down” Jack Johnson
  • “One Little Finger” Super Simple Songs

As always, listen to and learn the songs prior to the class so that you know how the songs go. You may use other Direction songs if you prefer to use other songs of your choice. 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: 
    • 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. 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. The idea is just to be able to draw all the children into the music and movement lesson as you do the same familiar warm-up songs. 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”)
  3. Introduction of Theme: DIRECTION
    • Introduce the Direction theme using the big arrow picture you made.
    • Ask the children what arrows are used for and what they tell us.
    • Do some activity examples using the arrow for the children to see – wave your hands up; shake your hands down; hide your hands away; move them to the left or right; spin around; and fold your arms in front of you.
    • Now use the song “Here We Go” by Jack Hartmann. I enjoyed using this song because it is upbeat and cool.
    • Ask the children to all carefully follow the direction you move as you dance to the song.
  4. Imagination Activity:
    • Song: “Hickory, Dickory… Crash!” Super Simple Songs
    • This is a fun song that teaches up and down, as well as counting.
    • Use the cues from the song to act out the different animals.
    • The song ends in everyone crashing to the floor because the elephant sat on the clock!
  5. Musical Principle Activity:
    • Music also follows direction! We think of the direction that pitch moves in, whether it is going up (high pitch) or going down (low pitch)
    • Use the portable instrument(s) that you brought to demonstrate high and low pitch.
    • Explain what pitch is: How high or low the note that is being played sounds.
    • Now it’s time to play the Pitch Perfect Game: When you play a high pitch, the children raise their hands in the air. When you play a low pitch, the children must touch the floor. It’s a cute activity that the children enjoy as they hear different pitches. This activity is important in developing the children’s ear for different pitches.
  6. Instrument Activity:
    • Play instruments to the song “Upside Down” by Jack Johnson.
    • 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.
    • Mix up things with doing different actions while playing the instruments, like playing above your head, behind your back, turning around, playing fast or slowly, etc. Be creative with using all the directional terms the children will understand.
  7. Conclusion/Gross Motor Activity:
    • “One Little Finger” Super Simple Songs
    • Here’s another song that teaches up and down, as you use your one little finger to point.
    • Use the cues from the song to point to each different part of the body: head, nose, chin, arm, leg and foot.
    • This song ends with “Goodbye” which makes it a very suitable concluding song.
    • 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.

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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.