Three Things {Kindergarten movement, a book, and a dance!}

Three things for the music room: Kindergarten movement activity, a picture book, and a folk dance!

Hi everyone! I'm excited to try a new theme, called “Three things.” I'm going to blog about three things that worked really well for my students this past week…things that were magical, that they beg to do again, etc. 


#1: Kindergarten movement activity

As many of you know, Kindergarteners are a bit different to teach than any other grade level! They sometimes have a hard time sitting still, so I try to add movement activities pretty often throughout the lesson. One of my favorites, especially at the beginning of the year, is simply to have them find their own self space around the room and make a statue. Then when I say a movement word like “walk,” “jog,” “crawl,” “skip,” “gallop,” etc., they do that, but when I play the finger cymbals or triangle, they have to freeze like a statue! The kids love this, and it's a great way to practice gross motor movement! (I model how to skip, gallop, etc. before we do the activity.) To make it more challenging, you could have two different instruments, like a wood block and finger cymbals, and you play both, but they only freeze when they hear the finger cymbals! For more tips about teaching Kindergarten music, see this blog post.

#2: “Tap that magic tree” by Christie Matheson

Tap the Magic Tree: Great picture book, can be used with the song "Apple Tree" in the music classroom!
This book is truly magical! I use it after students sing and play “Apple Tree.” On each page, students have to do something, like blow a kiss to the tree, knock on the tree, tap the petals, etc., to get something to happen on the next page. I did this with first grade, and they were SO excited to get a chance to knock, to touch, to blow a kiss, etc.! You can purchase the book by clicking on the picture above.

#3: I love a rainy night

Last year, for my 5th grade program, I had them perform a line dance for the song “I love a rainy night,” which I learned about from Sanna Longden's folk dance book, “More folk dance music for kids and teachers.” You can view it by clicking on the picture below:
You can also see the dance directions here.
My fifth graders last year absolutely LOVED this dance, which uses the song by Eddie Rabbitt. I decided I had to do the dance with every fifth grade class I have until I retire, because c'mon, you know it's a good dance when fifth graders beg to do it! I taught it this last week, and one of the kids yelled out, “That was FUN!” and another kid yelled out, “That was like being at the beach!” 
A dance that is like being at the beach? Yes, let's do that again!
I also love that is easy to learn; some of the line dances for this song I saw online would be tricky to teach to fifth grade, but the dance in Sanna's book is both interesting yet accessible.
For your listening enjoyment, here is “I love a rainy night.” Listen and imagine a line dance to this. It really is that awesome!

I hope these ideas have been helpful to you. Happy teaching!

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Hi, I'm Aileen

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