Engage your students with elementary music lessons and activities which will become fall favorites for teachers and students.
Fall is my favorite season. The days are cooler and the evenings are crisp. Everything at school is still new and fresh. The lessons you teach this month can set the tone for the entire year. Take care to nurture your students’ initial excitement and keep them engaged in fun music activities.
What’s in this post? Click to open the Table of Contents
Do These Holidays and Observances Spark any Ideas?
Take a look at the observances below. Pick out one or two that will resonate with your students. Find a quick, simple way to slip those in your elementary music lessons to “hook” your students and keep them anxious to come back to music classes.
- September 3 – National Play Outside Day (The first Saturday of each month)
- September 5 – National Cheese Pizza Day/Labor Day
- September 9 – National Teddy Bear Day
- September 11 – 9/11 Remembrance/National Grandparents’ Day
- September 13 – Uncle Sam Day
- September 16 – National Collect Rocks Day/Play-Doh Day
- September 17 – Citizenship Day/Constitution Day/National Dance Day
- September 18 – National Respect Day
- September 19 – Talk Like a Pirate Day
- September 21 – International Day of Peace/World Gratitude Day
- September 22 – Autumnal Equinox, First Day of Fall
- September 23 – International Day of Sign Languages
- September 26 – Johnny Appleseed Day
- September 28 – National Good Neighbor Day
- September 30 – National Hot Cider Day
- Oktoberfest (Munich) September 17 – October 3
- Rosh Hashanah – begins the evening of September 25
- National Keep Kids Creative Week – September 26 – October 2
- Apple Month
- Good Manners/Courtesy Month
- Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15)
- National Piano Month
The Perfect Bilingual Storybook for the Elementary Music Classroom
Rin, Rin, Rin, Do, Re, Mi by José-Luis Orozco with illustrations by David Díaz is a perfect addition to your elementary music classroom library. Consider extending the story by adding a few more bilingual elements during each reading.
“Written in both Spanish and English, a young child asks his parents to ‘sing to me, say letters to me, rhyme with me, count with me, read with me.’”
This book is a part of the Scholastic Lee y Seras literacy campaign. Check your Scholastic book order for this title or ask your librarian to order it for your school.
A Fun Storybook Video to Introduce “Found Instruments”
It’s marching band season. It’s time to get out your rhythm sticks and “drum up” some excitement in your elementary music classroom. Thank you to the Boulder Philharmonic for this wonderful reading of Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney.
Sneak in Music Literacy Activities with this Fun Song and Game
Hop Old Squirrel is a tried and true FAVORITE game song for the elementary music classroom. The NO-PREP game requires no materials and allows students to have some good old-fashioned fun while being creative.
And, you can extend the activities with this MUSIC LITERACY resource. The easy-to-use lessons include the following DIFFERENTIATED elements allowing the resource to be used with multiple grade levels.
- PowerPoint guided lesson which may be used with Google Slides
- Iconic and standard notation
- Rhythmic Orff ostinato pattern
- Teaches and reinforces solfege hand signs
- Recorder notation
- Printable Take it Home pages
- Digital online activities which may be used for practice, review, or assessment
P.S. National Squirrel Day is in January. This would be a fun time to revisit a few of these activities. 🐿️
Oktoberfest Celebrations Actually Begin in September
Oktoberfest is all about FUN! Traditionally the celebrations start in September and last into October. The festival originally began in Germany, but today many cities and countries all around the world celebrate Oktoberfest and the German culture and traditions.
“Wiener dog” or dachshund races and costume contests, polka bands, singing and dancing, traditional German foods and costumes are the highlights of the celebration. Teaching and learning about Oktoberfest has been some of my students’ favorite music activities. Singing and dancing with a real polka band at our community festival has been a highlight of our year.
Join in the fun and learn about Oktoberfest traditions and customs. Check out the music activities in this differentiated Oktoberfest Music Activities. This NO-PREP resource includes a German Song, Orff accompaniments, Boomwhackers notation, hand clap activities, the history of Oktoberfest, and more.
Don’t speak German? No problem. Two screencasts are included to teach German counting to 10 and the pronunciation for a simple German song.
Do You Need Fun Seasonal Lessons for Fall or Halloween?
Your kids will be begging to sing these songs and play the games ALL YEAR LONG! (Yes, we have done it in April. 😊)
Pass the Pumpkin includes a full Orff arrangement with differentiated activities for grades K-5.
However, some students and some schools do not celebrate Halloween. So, I changed up the lyrics but kept the same AWESOME activities to turn the song into a fall lesson.
Pass the Pumpkin Pie can be used all season long and it is sure to be a hit with all your students. (This is not a Thanksgiving activity, so your students that do not celebrate any holidays should be okay just singing about eating pumpkin pie.)
These kid-tested and approved activities go on my list of all-time favorite elementary music lessons.
Fall Rhythm Clip It Cards are Perfect for Observational Assessments
Do you need a FUN set of fall music activities to practice or assess students’ rhythm reading skills? Rhythm Pattern Identification Clip It Cards are perfect as students listen and identify the rhythm patterns they hear. Use them for review, practice, or assessment as group activities or centers. Leveled cards are differentiated for use in grades K-5.
🎶 Fill out the form near the bottom of this post to subscribe to our helpful email list and pick up this FREE Primer Set of Fall Rhythm Clip Cards. 😊
Learning to Read Music Should be FUN for Kids and Simple for Teachers
Targeted music reading lessons can, and should be, among your favorite elementary music lessons. And more importantly, music reading lessons should be among your students’ favorite lessons.
You can make time to teach music reading every day. It takes careful planning and sequential lessons that build one upon another introducing only one new element at a time. Having NO-PREP lessons ready to go at the beginning of the year simplifies lesson planning and saves your valuable time.
Do you need ready-to-use music reading resources that can also serve as assessments? These FUN sequential sets can give your curriculum a HUGE boost.
Easily Find the Perfect Elementary Music Resources to Meet Your Students Needs
Need help finding the perfect song to teach a specific music element?
This easy-to-use Elementary Music Literacy Resource Guide includes a detailed index of music elements that is easily scannable. This makes finding the ideal activities simple. It includes many FREE and paid resources which you will find helpful for your elementary music classroom.
Enjoy the Fall Season in Your Classroom and at Home
I hope you are inspired by the cooler, crisp weather and the changing of the seasons. And, I hope you find some time to enjoy the fall celebrations in your area.
Send me a quick email if you have any questions or need help planning your fall elementary music lessons.