Easel Activities can definitely be a valuable tool for delivering interactive elementary music activities which increase engagement and help develop music literacy skills.
So what is Easel and how can you use it in YOUR elementary music classroom?
Easel is an online digital platform created by Teachers pay Teachers. TpT defines Easel as follows.
“Easel is a suite of time-saving, online tools to help you teach, engage, and assess learners on any device. Easel WORKS IN ANY SETTING and is flexible enough for any teaching situation” whether you are teaching in the classroom, online, or in a hybrid setting.
Would you rather watch a short video tutorial? Scroll down to the video. But, don’t forget to download your two free resources included in this post.
Interactive Music Literacy Activities
Music reading is not an easy skill to teach. The more experience students have with a variety of music in a variety of settings, the higher their music literacy skills will be.
Interactive Easel Activities make the perfect follow up after learning the songs and activities in our guided music reading lessons. The Easel Activities may be used as a wrap up of each song-based lesson or even as an assessment.
FREE Music Literacy Activities
Download this FREE Snail Song and take a look at the simple guided lesson designed for early elementary grades. Directions are below.
- Click the link to see the FREE Snail Song Music Literacy Activities listing on TpT.
- Click the green bar labeled “View 2 Files”.
- Click the top green bar labeled “Download” to download the PowerPoint* file.
*Don’t have PowerPoint on your computer? No problem. Open the file with Google Slides. (Remember to “Save As Google Slides”.)
How to Open the Easel Interactive Activities
After you have previewed the PowerPoint lesson, it is time to open and practice using the simple Easel Activity.
Directions are below.
- Click the link to see the listing on TpT.
- Click the green bar labeled “View 2 Files”.
- Click the bottom green bar labeled “Preview & Assign” to open the Easel Activity. This will automatically open the Easel Activity in your TpT account.
Notice the tabs in the top ribbon. Each interactive activity automatically opens on the “PREPARE” tab. The Prepare tab allows you as a “buyer” the option of adding some customization to the activities. (Any changes you make will NOT affect the master file.) You may want to customize the directions or change the color of the font, or even add additional answer boxes.
Our NO-PREP Easel Activities are ready to be assigned.
See How to Prepare Custom Easel Activities on TpT for complete directions on how to customize Easel Activities.
Practice Using Elementary Music Interactive Activities
Before you assign an Easel Activity, practice using the activity as a student.
- From the Easel Activity, click on “VIEW AS STUDENT” in the upper right-hand corner to preview the activity.
- Use the + and – tools to zoom in and out as desired.
- Complete the activity on page 1 as if you were a student.
Notice that only the music symbols are draggable. The other elements are locked down keeping students focused on the task at hand.
- Use the arrows at the bottom of the screen to navigate through each page of the activity.
- Notice that the type of activity changes on page 3.
- Click into each answer box to type the solfege name of each pitch.
Deliver Lesson in Student View
You can also use VIEW AS STUDENT mode to demonstrate for your students or to deliver an interactive class lesson. This is a very valuable tool for the elementary music classroom. You may want to turn your interactive whiteboard into a center or station and have a small group of students complete the activity together.
See How to Use Easel Activities as a Digital Whiteboard for Live Instruction for helpful tips.
More Easel Activities | Printable and Digital Worksheets
Another way of using Easel is by “recreating” printable worksheets as digital activities. You may upload any PDF (that you have the rights to use) into Easel. Then, by adding answer boxes or other elements, you can easily turn a printable worksheet into a digital activity.
Try out these FREE DIGITAL and PRINTABLE Brass Family Worksheets. We have already prepared the Easel Activities for you. The NO-PREP puzzles are ready to assign either digitally or in print.
advantages of completing this activity digitally
- The digital version is in color.
- There is no erasing holes through your paper. The digital version makes it very easy for students to correct any mistakes.
- It saves paper and you never run out of copies.
- Teachers may easily share the activity via Google Classroom or your school’s LMS and students can complete the activity outside the classroom.
Video Tutorial | How to Use Interactive Easel Activities in Elementary Music
This video tutorial demonstrates the two types of Easel Activities highlighted in this post. Click below to see the short video.
Use the time stamps to skip straight to specific elements that you may want to see again.
- 0:20 Identifying Easel Activities on TpT
- 0:30 Opening an Easel Activity
- 0:54 Zoom In and Zoom Out – Easel Activities
- 1:28 Modify Easel Activities Using the Prepare Tab
- 1:51 Teach Easel Activities Using the View as Student Tab
- 2:07 Music Reading Easel Activities
- 4:16 How to Assign Easel Activities
- 5:24 Monitor Student Work in the Report Tab
- 5:39 Interactive Elementary Music Worksheets – Easel Activities
Easel Tutorials by TpT
TpT is continuing to enhance the features of their Easel platform. For more information about the Easel Activities, see the short, targeted video tutorials below.
- The Basics of Teaching Using Easel by TpT™ | Teachers Pay Teachers
- How to Find and Create Easel Activities on TpT | Teachers Pay Teachers
- How to Prepare Custom Easel Activities on TpT | Teachers Pay Teachers
- How to Use Easel Activities as a Digital Whiteboard for Live Instruction | Teachers Pay Teachers
- How to Assign Easel Activities to Students on TpT | Teachers Pay Teachers ·
- The Student Experience using Easel Activities on TpT | Teachers Pay Teachers
- How to Review Student Work using Easel Activities on TpT | Teachers Pay Teachers
Simplify Your Lesson Planning
Using NO-PREP interactive Easel activities that are designed for the elementary music classroom can simplify your lesson planning and make for more cohesive and engaging lessons. All of the Music Literacy Activity Bundles below include ready-to-use Easel Activities as well as songs, games, Orff accompaniments, printable worksheets, and more.
More Music Literacy Activity Bundles Coming Soon
Easel is an easy-to-use platform for creating and delivering elementary music interactive activities. If you have a TpT account, you already have free access to Easel and you don’t have to worry about yet another login on another platform.
If you don’t have a TpT account yet, what are you waiting for? Create a FREE account and download these two free resources.
- FREE Snail Song l Kodály Music Reading Song & Activities
- FREE Musical Instrument Family Worksheets | DIGITAL and PRINTABLE Puzzles
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