Four great picture books for music classroom

Children's books in the music room: Four great books for the elementary music classroom!

Today, I'm blogging about four great picture books I'm using in my music classroom. Click on the pictures to see the books on Amazon (please note, these are affiliate links.)

#1: “This Land is Your Land” by Kathy Jakobsen and Woody Guthrie

Since it's Constitution Day today, I sang this to my third graders. Before I sang it, we discussed the holiday, how people sing patriotic music for patriotic holidays, and what the word “patriotic” means (it's surprising how many of them weren't sure!) The illustrations are beautiful, and there is some wonderful information about Woody Guthrie and about the song.

#2: How to Speak Moo by Deborah Fajerman

I learned about this book at a vocal exploration workshop by Lillie Feierabend and absolutely love it! It's great for grades K-2 (and even third) for vocal exploration. Each page has a different moo (high moo, low moo, soft moo, low moo, moo on trampoline, moo in tunnel, etc.) so after each page, I have students do that moo. In the end, there is a collage of all the different moos, and I have students choose their favorite and do that moo until I cut them off (which is good for teaching them to watch a conductor!) Lots of fun!

#3: “Llama Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney

This week, I'm going to use this book with my first graders after presenting “long” and “short-short.” I was going to write up the entire process, but realized I already wrote a blog about it last year. You can read that blog entry here.

#4: “Three Billy Goats Gruff” by Parragon Books

The book I've actually been using is certainly out of print (and falling apart!) so I think I'm going to buy this one for next year's Kindergarteners. Same story, but with cuter pictures! For this book, I first read the story to students and have them do vocal exploration. For the little goat, they speak “trip, trap, trip, trap” in their high squeaky voices, for the middle-sized goat they use their speaking voices, and for the large goat and the troll they use their low grumbly voices. In the next lesson, I assigned instruments: glockenspiels for the river, triangles for the small goat going over the river, rhythm sticks for the middle-sized goat, and hand drums for the large goat. We discuss how to play each instrument, and then they only play their instrument on their part. It was a fun way to introduce the instruments and how to play them, as well as improve their listening skills!

Looking for more picture books for the music classroom? Check out this post about singalong books, and check out my Pinterest board about children's books:

Happy reading, and happy teaching!

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