There are a TON of interesting and FUN holidays and observances for the month of April. You will definitely want to work some of the observances below into your lessons. They offer a wealth of ideas and topics for creating elementary music class online activities or classroom activities.
Whether you are teaching online in a distance learning situation or in the classroom, these observances can liven up your lessons and provide a framework for cohesive activities for the week or month. Check out the lists below as you are creating your lesson plans.
April Holidays and Observances
- April 1 – Baseball Opening Day – Take Me Out to the Ball Game
- April 1 – April Fool’s Day
- April 2 – Good Friday/Children’s Book Day/National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
- April 4 – Easter
- April 4 – School Librarian Day
- April 5 – National Walking Day/National Dandelion Day
- April 7 – International Beaver Day
- April 10 – National Siblings Day
- April 11 – Barbershop Quartet Day
- April 15 – World Art Day/National High Five Day
- April 19 – Patriot’s Day
- April 20 – Volunteer Recognition Day
- April 21 – Kindergarten Day
- April 22 – Earth Day (U.S.)
- April 25 – World Penguin Day
- April 30 – International Jazz Day/Arbor Day
- Week 1 – Library Week
- Week 2 – Garden Week
- Week 4 – Administrative Assistants Week
- International Guitar Month
- Keep America Beautiful Month
- National Kite Month
- National Poetry Month
Books to Read and Sing and Move
Sing-along books are always some of my favorite activities. And you can make them some of your favorite elementary music class ONLINE activities. Video yourself reading and singing to your students to help make a personal connection. Your students will have the opportunity watch it over and over. And, you may be able to turn it into a sub activity later.
April 2 is Children’s Book Day AND National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day. Peanut Butter & Jelly, illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott, is the perfect sing-along book for today or any time this month! If you don’t have the book, consider using a real peanut butter and jelly sandwich as a prop!
Another of my favorite sing-along books for this month is Over in the Meadow. This version is illustrated by David A. Carter. Verse 10 is about beavers. This provides the perfect ending for International Beaver Day on April 7. If you don’t have the book or can’t find it online, consider printing out pictures of each animal as props.
I found The Bunny Hop by Teddy Slater, illustrated by Larry Di Fiori, as I was looking through my book box. It is a fun book to introduce “The Bunny Hop” dance and get those kids up and moving. If possible, you could even have an online dance party!
Land of the Silver Birch
This has been one of my favorite songs since I was a child. The lyrics talk about “home of the beaver” so it would be a good song for International Beaver Day as well.
I love this lesson and all of the simple Orff activities that go along with it. This is a perfect song to target syncopation and/or simple harmonic singing. This lesson provides a simple vocal ostinato for easy harmonic singing.
These activities were designed to be taught in the elementary music classroom but the lesson could be modified and taught online. Permission is granted to take slides from the lesson and post them in a secure platform which is privately-shared only with your students.
I Don’t Care if the Rain Comes Down
If you don’t know this song, you need to look it up! This song is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE for April. This is a joyous song that will brighten everyone’s day.
I don’t care if the rain comes down. I’m gonna dance* all day. I don’t care if the rain comes down. I’m gonna dance all day. Hey, hey, carry me away. I’m gonna dance all day. Hey, hey, carry me away. I’m gonna dance all day.
*In each verse, you may substitute a different activity – jump, clap, snap, read, walk, etc. I always like to end with “I’m gonna SING all day.” Challenge your students to make up their own verses.
Once again, this lesson and these activities were designed to be taught in the elementary music classroom but the activities could be modified and taught online. You may take slides from the lesson and post them in a secure platform which is privately-shared only with your students.
Sakura is a beautiful, serene, Japanese song with simple rhythm reading activities. The Orff rhythm patterns are differentiated with varying levels of rhythm and pitch reading/performance activities.
This lesson and these activities were also designed to be taught in the elementary music classroom but the activities could be modified and taught online. You may take slides from the lesson and post them in a secure platform which is privately-shared only with your students.
No-Prep Elementary Music Class Online Activities for Distance Learning
Boom Cards make the perfect elementary music class online activities for distance learning. I have designed several different series of Boom Cards, all of which are NO-PREP sets. They may be assigned privately through Google Classroom or your school’s LMS. CLICK HERE to see all current Boom Cards. I am adding new sets every day so keep checking back.
If you are new to Boom Cards, you may want to learn more about them. Click to read the following blog posts and see Boom Cards in action.
Boom Cards for Developing Music Literacy
These Boom Cards provide REAL MUSIC LITERACY LEARNING in a game setting. They are not simply “fluff” games. Boom Cards may be used for individual/group learning and/or assessment. When you are back in the classroom, they may be used as centers as well.
Each series below is of graduated difficulty and provide many different opportunities for differentiation. Click on each series to determine which would best meet the needs of your students.
Rhythm Block Builder Series
Students listen and build the rhythms they hear by dragging and dropping rhythm blocks. See the video to see a set in action.
Melody Block Builder Series
Students listen and build the melodies they hear by dragging and dropping melody blocks. Click the video to see a set in action.
“What Do You Hear?” Ear Training Series
Currently, only melodic sets are available. I am creating more ASAP. This series does NOT include the “cute” clipart of some of the other series. Because it does not look “elementary,” it may be used in the middle and high school settings as well depending upon the needs of your students.
This series begins VERY simple with just So-Mi for young elementary students. With six sequential sets, the upper levels will challenge even middle school students.
Treble Clef Note Name Series
There are 6 different sets in this series. Sets 1-2 introduce and practice space and line notes separately. Set 3 practices the lines and spaces together. Sets 1-3 include the BASIC notes on the staff only. Sets 4-6 follow the same pattern while including EXTENDED notes above and below the staff.
Bass Clef Note Name Series
This series of 6 different sets follows the same pattern as the treble clef note names. Sets 1-2 introduce and practice space and line notes separately. Set 3 practices the lines and spaces together. Sets 1-3 include the BASIC notes on the staff only. Sets 4-6 follow the same pattern while including EXTENDED notes above and below the staff.
FREE Music Literacy Boom Cards
Do you want to try using several different sets of Boom Cards with your students before purchasing an entire series? Click to read this blog post – 10 FREE Elementary Music Online Distance Learning Activities. All of these activities will remain FREE during the COVID-19 outbreak.
This spring is undoubtedly going to be different from past years, but it can be a time of learning. Engage your students in productive elementary music class activities which are FUN and bring joy to their lives.