Third Grade Program: You Belong Here

Blog post with lots of ideas for directing a musical program for third grade, with accessible folk songs and dances!
Need ideas for a third grade program? In today's blog post, I'm writing about my program, “You Belong Here.”
I created the program based on the beautifully illustrated book  by M.H. Clark and Isabelle Arsenault. about how we are all unique, and how we are all loved! (Note: this is a referral link.)

Here is a summary of songs and dances I used for the program.

I did this program with third grade, but it could also work for second grade. I split the text up between 28 narrators. For the first part of the program, I had two narrators come up and read the text in the book from “The stars belong” to “here with you.”
After those two narrators, I had students sing “Who has seen the wind,” which is based off of the text by Christina Rossetti. The notation can be found in this blog post.
I taught the song to all of the third graders, but had one class arrange the song, figuring out what should go where. In this case, the third graders decided to play the gong, then the wind chimes, then sing the song, then add an alternating bourdon on instruments, then have soloists play in la pentatonic, then sing again with instruments, and then end with wind chimes and the gong. Of course, your students' arrangement might look quite different!


I had two more narrators come up, and read from “The whales” to “dunes are for.” Since that part is about the ocean, I then had one class perform “Waves of Tory.” Here is a version of “Waves of Tory”; since I was performing this with third grade, I had students do a simple “Peel the Orange” instead of the fancy one in this video!


Then I had two more narrators come up and read from “And the trees” to “they've made.” Since this part is about birds, I had students sing “Kookaburra” with this fun accompaniment.   Then, I had four narrators come up and read from “And you belong” to “water is near.” Then, we sung “Frog in the meadow,” which can be found here. I had students sing twice, with a frog guiro like this one played 8 times between the first and second singing.   Two more narrators came up, and read from “And the otters” to “run blue.” Since this part is about fish, we tried some special effects (inspired by this blog post by Amy Abbott), and had students perform the movement from John Feierabend's “Move it” DVD, wearing white gloves with glow bracelets beneath, in the dark. It was SO cool! Here is the video:

Two more narrators came up, and read from “And you belong” to “love the most.” Then, I had students sing “Love Somebody,” with one of the classes accompanying on instruments. I used the arrangement found here on TpT.   Two more narrators read from “The hares” to “night turns cold.” Then, I had one class perform “One to 4” from this hand drumming book. As a class, they arranged it for body percussion and hand drums, and they loved it!   Two more narrators read from “The foxes” to “ready to run.”  We had students sing “Inanay,” which I've heard is about animals and flowers from the Torres Strait Islands near Australia. Here is the notation:  

    Five more narrators came up and read from “The crickets” to “storms start to blow.” Then, I had one class perform a line dance to “I love a rainy night” by Eddie Rabbitt. You can find the dance directions on Sanna Longden's website here (click on “CD 2 Dance Description.”) I used the simplified dance she listed (since I typically teach the dance to fifth graders, who also LOVE the dance!)   Four more narrators came up and read from “Some creatures” to “Where you belong.” Then, I had students sing the song “What I am,” by Will.i.am, which you can see here:

This song was our school song this year, so it was often played on the announcements. It has a great message and the kids loved singing it! After some digging, I finally found an accompaniment track here. It was a bit pricey for an accompaniment track, but I couldn't find one anywhere else, so was excited I found it!   The third graders really enjoyed this performance, and I was very pleased with what they did musically, from singing, to movement, to playing instruments! Hopefully I've explained everything so that you could recreate it or adapt it for your own students.   I hope this post has been helpful for you! Have fun planning!

4 Responses

  1. The link to the accompaniment track for What I Am no longer works, darn it! Currently digging for one for my own performance!

    1. Hi Sam! I just clicked the link and the track is still available for purchase. 🙂

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