Thursday, October 17, 2013

Must Be Halloween

I know it's a little early, but due to some early dismissals for parent conferences next week and the fact that I will be attending the national NAfME conference in Nashville the next week, I am trying to pack in as much Halloween fun as possible.  My kindergarten and 1st grade classes are learning "Must Be Halloween" this week, and they are playing instruments as they sing.

Here's a Halloween PowerPoint slide for the song, which is in Jeff and Randy's GamePlan. See their book for the melody and their complete lesson plans for this song. The song is either in the 1st or 2nd grade curriculum. I don't have my books at home and don't recall at the moment. I'll try to remember to edit my post later. If you don't already have any of their GamePlan books, I recommend purchasing them for well thought-out, high quality lesson plans that the students enjoy.
I also included a slide with a picture of the xylophone with the D and A bars marked:
My kindergarten students have been doing a lot of drumming to work on their steady beat, but this is the first time they have played xylophones. I like to limit the number of students playing at once on their first xylophone experience, so I can assist students as much as they need.

I set up four instruments in a square and let the students line up behind each one. I sat in the center, so I could reach all of the children. They played a steady beat bordun on D and A. After they played, they rotated to the end of the next line. We continued until each student had played all four xylophones. Students in line continued to sing & pat the beat on their thighs.
I gave my first grade classes a little challenge. All students went to instruments to sing and play. I had two rows of barred instruments with triangles interspersed. Students played xylophones on beats 1, 2, & 3, and rested on beat 4. Triangles played on beat 4. It worked great, except for the third line where there was a word to sing on the rest. It may be easier for first graders to only rest on the xylophone and play triangles after "halloween" each time and not worry about the third line.
First grade students rotated through all of the instruments, if time allowed. It's amazing how many times they will sing the same song, just so they can play every xylophone and triangle. Fortunately, my first grade classes are pretty small this year so we only had to perform about 15 times. :)

Looking for more Halloween fun? See some of my other favorites here and here.

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