‘Tis the season! ‘Tis the season for CRAZINESS! The hectic schedules of the holiday season can often leave our children at school (and at home) unsettled and unfocused. With careful planning, focused lessons, and possibly some intentional pairing down, this month can be a productive time of learning and performing as well as a season of joyous celebrations. Maybe some of the songs and activities below will become some of your favorite elementary music lessons including two FREE lessons included in this post.
December Holidays & Observances
December undoubtedly has more holiday celebrations and observances than any other month. Below are a just a few highlights.
- December 6 – St. Nicholas Day
- December 20 – National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
- December 22 – Hanukkah begins
- December 25 – Christmas
- December 26 – Kwanzaa begins
- January 31 – New Year’s Eve
- Computer Science Education Week: December 1-7
- Cookie Cutter Week: December 1-7
- Cookie Exchange Week: December 16-20
- National Egg Nog Month
- National Fruit Cake Month
- National Tie Month
Last Minute Song for Class or Performance
Do you need a song for a last minute addition to a holiday program or class activity? These guided music lessons teach music literacy skills and the songs with differentiated Orff arrangements are tried and true. I have performed them all very successfully with my K-5 classes.
Click to listen to each Orff arrangement and song below.
Interactive Rhythm Flashcards
You don’t have to make a choice between focusing on music literacy skills or celebrating the holidays. These Christmas Interactive Rhythm Pattern Flashcards are differentiated into 6 different levels for grades K-5. Level 1 includes iconic reading while levels 2-6 build sequentially.
Check out this post for 10 Ways to Use Interactive Rhythm Pattern Flashcards.
Productive Time Fillers
This time of year, schedule changes and inclement weather that may cancel outdoor recesses can often wreak havoc on classroom schedules and lesson plans. Teachers are frequently left with little bits of time here and there. These bits of time can sometimes be hard to fill productively. This FREE Winter Holidays | Break the Code Puzzle introduces students to diverse holidays celebrated by families from different cultures.
Do you need to review basic music symbols and vocabulary? Check out the worksheets and puzzles below. Just download, print, and go.
Music Symbols Puzzle BUNDLE includes word search and crossword puzzles for each set. Puzzles may also be used for centers, to introduce/reinforce music vocabulary, motivation for fast finishers, or holiday take-home packets. Answer keys are included which makes them great for sub days too.
Musical Instrument Families | Favorite Elementary Music Lessons
Learning about musical instrument families and the instruments of the orchestra are always among favorite elementary music lessons for students and teachers. Whether you are introducing a new family of instruments or reviewing previously learned materials, these print & go puzzles are sure to be a hit.
Planning Ahead | Black History Month
As soon as we get back from winter break, it will be time to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other heroes of the civil rights movement.
Below are some of my favorite elementary music lessons of all time! These K-5 lessons include short biographies of civil rights leaders. With Orff arrangements of African American spirituals, these lessons can truly be used all year long.
Click to listen to each of the arrangements in the video previews.
Start the New Year Fresh | Music Literacy Bundles
I am a firm believer in planning ahead but I also believe it is important to be flexible. The new year is a time to pause and reflect on the past. At what level are your students in the development of their music literacy skills? Are there gaps in their learning? Are you making time for music reading every day?
Check out this post for tips to help you Integrate Music Reading into Every Lesson. If you need some ready-to-go guided music reading resources to fill in a few gaps in your program, check out the bundles below.
Enjoy the Season!
Yes, real learning takes place during the month of December. But, save a little time for the “just-for-fun” stuff too. There are so many fun activities to incorporate into lessons during this time of year.
What are some of your favorite elementary music lessons for the month of December?