February has so many FUN activities that you can add to YOUR list of favorite elementary music lessons! There are so many ideas and lessons for Ground Hog’s Day, Superbowl Sunday, and Valentine’s Day alone not to mention President’s Day. And the entire month is Black History Month. Spirituals are great to integrate all year long, but especially during this month.
February Holidays and Observances
There is no way you could celebrate all of these events in your classroom, but there are some important and interesting observances during the month of February. Undoubtedly, the most important is Black History Month.
Take a look at the rest of this list. There are some other interesting and fun activities that you will want to include as well.
- February 1 – National Freedom Day
- February 2 – Ground Hog Day/Superbowl Sunday
- February 3 – Feed the Birds Day
- February 4 – Thank a Mail Carrier Day
- February 5 – National Weatherman’s Day
- February 6 – National Chopsticks Day
- February 7 – Send a Card to a Friend Day
- February 9 – National Pizza Day/Oscar Night
- February 11 – Make a Friend Day/National Inventors Day
- February 14 – Valentine’s Day
- February 15 – Susan B. Anthony Day
- February 17 – Presidents’ Day/Random Acts of Kindness Day
- February 20 – Cherry Pie Day
- February 21 – Card Reading Day
- February 22 – Walking the Dog Day
- February 25 – Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday
- February 26 – Ash Wednesday/Tell a Fairy Tale Day
- February 27 – Polar Bear Day
- February 28 – National Chili Day/National Tooth Fairy Day (also celebrated on August 22)
- February 29 – Leap Day!!!!
- American Heart Month
- Black History Month
- National Bird Feeding Month
- National Cherry Month
- National Children’s Dental Health Month
- Skinamarinky Dink (I love you)
- Here Comes a Bluebird
- Brush Your Teeth
Follow the Drinking Gourd | Black History Month
“Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd” is undoubtedly one of the best songs to teach about the Underground Railroad. There are several different versions of the storybook. There are also two videos that I recommend.
The version written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter is also appropriate for grades 1-5. However, the Reading Rainbow Video of this storybook is much more intense than the Rabbit Ears version. It shows slaves in chains in a very realistic setting. This is a very well made video. I have shown it to students in grades 3-5 several times. I took care to set the stage prior to viewing the video and we discussed the video afterwards. DO NOT show this video to your students without previewing it first.
Favorite Elementary Music Lessons | Spirituals
Of course, spirituals are great for any time of year. There are several songs that I like to pair with stories of leaders of the civil rights movement. The lessons below all have Orff arrangements and short biographies of a civil rights leader. The lessons include differentiated activities for students in grades K-5. Click to listen to the arrangements in the video previews.
Favorite Elementary Music Lessons | Valentine's Day
Do you need activities to help teach rhythm? This helpful blog post has 10 Ways to Use Interactive Flashcards in the elementary grades.
These interactive rhythm flashcards include 8 sets of leveled flashcards with 8 cards each. My favorite is the iconic reading for your youngest musicians. But, your more accomplished musicians will be challenged by 16th note patterns, syncopation and dotted rhythms.
Prepare Your Students for Band and Orchestra
This is the season when students begin to register for classes for the upcoming year. For many students, this will be the first time they get to choose some of the classes they will take. Many students will have the options of registering for band, choir, or orchestra.
You are the best advocate for these programs! Help your students make informed decisions by teaching them about the programs at your school and the instruments themselves.
If you need some ready-made resources to teach your students about instruments, check out the lessons below. These lessons include links to short, quality performances by professional musicians.
This could be the start of a life-long passion for your students. I am currently playing in an ensemble with one of my former elementary students. And I have had several students go on to choose music as their careers. Do not underestimate your influence in helping to guide students toward positive musical endeavors.
Just for FUN!
Do you need a simple activity just for fun? This FREE Valentine Break the Code Puzzle makes a great party day activity when classes may be shortened. It is fun for fast finishers or sub days. Best of all, it is FREE! Just download, print, and go!
February is a Short Month
Even though February has an extra day this year, it is still a short month. As always, schedule your priority lessons in first, then work in a few more music activities. I love using multitasking lessons that teach music literacy skills while also observing seasonal events.
What are your favorite elementary music lessons for February? Leave a quick comment.