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‘Tis the Season Favorite Lessons for Elementary Music – December 2022

Do you need fun holiday lessons for your elementary music classes? These diverse multitasking activities are sure to be your new favorites.

‘Tis the season for CRAZINESS! The changing schedules of the holiday season can often leave our children at school (and at home) unsettled and unfocused. Do you need to find some lessons for your elementary music classroom to celebrate diverse holidays and stay on target with music literacy objectives?

With careful planning, focused lessons, and possibly some intentional paring down, this month can be a productive time of learning and performing as well as a season of joyous celebrations.

Be sure to download the two FREE activities included in this post.

Elementary Music  Lessons - Class Activities for Classroom or Distance Learning | December Favorites

December has SO Many Fun Holidays and SO Few School Days

Below are a few highlights.

  • December 6 – St. Nicholas Day
  • December 13 – Violin Day
  • December 16 – National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day 
  • December 18-26 – Hanukkah
  • December 21 – Winter Solstice
  • December 25 – Christmas
  • December 26 – Kwanzaa begins
  • January 31 – New Year’s Eve

Weekly Observances

  • Week 1 – Cookie Cutter Week
  • Week 2 – Computer Science Education Week
  • Week 3 – Cookie Exchange Week

Monthly Observances

  • National Egg Nog Month
  • National Fruit Cake Month
  • National Tie Month

Diverse Winter Holiday Songs with Fun Orff Accompaniments

Do you need a last-minute addition to your holiday program or classroom activities? These guided music lessons teach music literacy skills and include tried and true differentiated Orff arrangements for grades K-5.

Click to see this post for more Diverse Winter Holiday Songs.

It Wouldn’t be the Holidays Without this Traditional Ballet

This Sugar Plum Fairy Listening Map by Smalin helps students identify the texture, melody, and form of the piece while being visually engaged.

Hearing and “seeing” the piece sets students up to play this Sugar Plum Fairy Play-Along. Consider using scarves to outline the contour of the music during the B section.

Elementary Music Class Activities for Classroom or Distance Learning | December Favorites

Thank you to Music and Motivate and the other generous creators sharing their work.

YouTube video

If you have not found Musication’s YouTube Channel yet, you are in for a treat. They have a ton of VERY fun play-along activities that are FREE and easy to follow. Below is their Trepak video complete with a “symbol key” at the beginning.

YouTube video

Yes, Using Interactive Rhythm Flashcards Can be FUN!

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 8 different levels for grades K-5. Level 1 includes iconic reading while levels 2-8 progress sequentially. 

The activities will always be new and fresh with 10 Ways to Use Interactive Rhythm Pattern Flashcards.

Printable and/or Digital Puzzles are Perfect for those In-Between Days

If you need some FUN activities between units or performances, take a peek at these versatile puzzles. They are PRINTABLE as standard worksheets OR your students may complete them in a DIGITAL format using Easel, TpT’s digital online tool. These NO-PREP worksheets are ready to assign on Easel.

This FREE Winter Holidays Break the Code Puzzle introduces students to diverse holidays celebrated by families from different cultures. 

Music Symbols PRINTABLE & DIGITAL Puzzles BUNDLE includes scrambled words, word search, and crossword puzzles. Puzzles may also be used for centers, to introduce/reinforce music vocabulary, for sub days, for fast finishers, as holiday take-home packets, or for online distance learning. 

Answer keys are included which makes them easy activities for sub days too.

Learning About Instruments is an Important Element of Music Literacy

Knowing the instruments of the band and orchestra IS part of becoming musically literate. These PRINTABLE and/or DIGITAL puzzles work well for introducing a new family of instruments or as a review activity.

Do you need something fast and FREE? Download this FREE Brass Family Puzzle Set and give Easel, the TpT digital tool a try.

Do you need activities that include ALL of the main instruments of the orchestra and band? This complete Instrument Family Puzzles Set includes 10 separate scrambled word/word search and crossword puzzles including all of the main instrument families.

Plan Ahead to Integrate Important History into Your Music Class Activities

In January we celebrate the life and accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr. and February is Black History Month. Any time of the year is a good time to learn about Black History, but these activities are especially meaningful during this time of year.

These are truly some of my favorite elementary music lessons of all time. Each differentiated K-5 resource includes short biographies of civil rights leaders. With differentiated Orff arrangements of authentic African American spirituals, these lessons can truly be used all year long.

Consider adding one or two songs to an upcoming program. Or, use all three and build a program around these pieces.

Listen to the arrangements in the video previews.

Start the New Year Fresh with Complete 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. What is the music literacy level of your students? Are there gaps in their learning? Are you making time for music reading every day? 

If you are having trouble making music literacy a priority, take a peek at this post for tips to help you Integrate Music Reading into Every Lesson. If you simply need some ready-to-go guided music reading resources to fill in a few gaps in your program, check out the bundles below. 

Easily Find the Perfect Resources to Meet Your Students’ Needs

It can be hard to find the perfect songs and activities to teach specific music elements. This easy-to-use Elementary Music Literacy Resource Guide includes a detailed index of music elements which makes finding the ideal activities simple.

This helpful index includes MANY FREE as well as helpful paid resources. That’s a WIN WIN!

December is the Month of Fun Holidays, Hectic Schedules, and REAL Learning

Yes, December is a CRAZY month with hectic schedules, but REAL LEARNING takes place too. Remember to save a little time for the “just-for-fun” stuff too. ❆


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