The month of May has many observances that are extra special this year. Appreciation days for nurses, teachers, and police officers are even more poignant this year. I hope you find some elementary music online activities for your classes and take a few minutes to acknowledge these special days of recognition.
Maybe some other special observances for this month will spark an idea for a lesson or activity for your classes this month. Read on.
May Holidays and Observances
- May 1 – International Tuba Day/May Day/Mother Goose Day
- May 4 – Star Wars Day, May the 4th be with You!
- May 5 – Cinco de Mayo
- May 10 – Mother’s Day
- May 12 – International Nurses’ Day
- May 13 – Frog Jumping Day
- May 22 – Buy a Musical Instrument Day
- May 23 – International Jazz Day
- May 25 – Memorial Day
- Teacher Appreciation Week- May 4-8
- Wildflower Week – May 10-16
- National Bike Week – May 17-23
- National Police Week – May 17-23
- Asian American Month
- Pacific Islander Heritage Month
- Foster Care Month
- National Bike Month
- National Hamburger Month
- National Photograph Month
Books Make Perfect Elementary Music Online Activities
Books are a staple in elementary music classes. If you have never used TumbleBooks online E-books, click here to read about TumbleBooks for Elementary Music. They have some great titles for music classes including two Joshua Bell stories. They even have a series of sing-along books!
I have used The Best Mariachi in the World during the month of May for several years. Don’t forget Cinco de Mayo is May 5.
Another book that would be perfect for any time of year, but especially now, is He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson. I picked up a used copy from an independent bookseller on Amazon at a very reasonable price. (There are NO affiliate links in this post. I simply highly recommend this book.)
International Tuba Day
Who could let this day go by without a nod to the brass family, especially the tubas? I have a couple of free brass puzzles if you need printables to use for your elementary music classes. Click here to download them FREE from TpT.
Composition Templates for Elementary Music – Printables
Teaching composition to young students can be tricky even if you are together in the classroom. If you are teaching online, the process becomes even more difficult. Using templates makes composition projects much more successful for beginning musicians. Click here to read Music Composition Templates for Elementary | Digital and Printable to learn more about using composition templates.
These printable composition templates include 9 differentiated rhythm sets to meet the needs of kindergarten through eighth grade. Some teachers have used them with band and orchestra students as well as vocal or general music students. These versatile printables can be used for melodic composition as well. Click here to preview and learn more.
Some schools are using printables for distance learning. If your school has gone totally digital, check out the online composition activities below.
Online Drag & Drop Composition Activities
Composition templates may be paperless, online activities as well. And they may be structured so that even young students who do not have knowledge of music symbols yet may be successful. Take a look at these Farm Animal drag & drop templates using icons. They allow even young children to be successful in creating their own music. If students are ready to use standard music notation, a standard set is available as well.
Sequential Differentiated Composition Series
The forms that composition templates may take are endless. I created this drag & drop rhythm set because I never had enough rhythm blocks in my classroom. This bundle includes a series of four separate differentiated composition sets using different rhythms. Each set includes four compositions. Composition 1 focuses on meter and note values, while composition 2 focuses on phrase form. Composition 3 focuses on adding lyrics to compositions and composition 4 is a final project that puts everything together. That is a LOT of composing.
Boom Cards for Music Literacy
Many music teachers have recently “discovered” Boom Cards for the first time. Boom Cards really do have a place in helping to develop music literacy skills. There are many benefits to using Boom Cards.
- Boom Cards are self-checking and give students immediate feedback.
- Sets may be designed in a sequential series that builds one upon another.
- Teachers can differentiate by assigning different sets of cards to different students. Or teachers can simply allow students to work through a series of cards at their own pace.
- Students may repeat the same set of cards to improve their performance. All of my cards are set to “randomize” so the order changes every time.
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. These posts include directions for getting started using Boom Cards. It is easy, I promise. But, like anything, there are a few things you need to know.
Sequential Boom Cards Music Literacy Series
Each of the sets in these bundles include sequential sets that you may use for different grade levels or for differentiation within grade levels. Click to preview the series that best meets the current needs of your classes.
Keep Learning on Track, But, Keep it Simple
Right now, teachers, students, and parents all around the world are struggling to keep up and stay focused. Go back and browse through these straightforward elementary music online activities and determine if any are right for your students and families. It is your job to simplify things and help your students be productive. That’s what teachers do. We also bring joy, compassion, and grace into the classroom, no matter if it is a school building or learning at home.
Best wishes, friends!