Elementary Music, Games, K-2, Lessons

Free Music Lesson: Brown Bear Brown Bear

We all love to use books in the music classroom. Brown Bear Brown Bear is one of my favorites—and it has so many extensions! I am planning to do a bear themed unit in January, so I am trying to find some fun things to do. If you have some ideas for bear themed lessons, let me know in the comments!

This lesson includes a solo singing game, a book, and a rhythmic/composition extension my students have really enjoyed.

You can get the Brown Bear book here.

 I also saw this version in one of our first grade teacher’s rooms this week. It’s about polar bears and it uses the same structure, but with endangered animals. I am planning to buy it soon.

Also, I am starting something new! I wanted a way to provide my subscribers with extra exclusive free content, so I have created a resource library. As of Nov. 2018, I have a free beat chart (in 4/4, 3/4, and 2/4) and 2 music interest surveys available in my free resource library. Sign up for my email list and I will send you the password to the library. Once a member, always a member. More things are being added every few weeks, so check back to see what is new. Sign up here.

Also read: Free K-1 Music Lesson: It’s Raining and Que Llueva

Free Music Lesson: Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see? This is one of my favorite lessons-- my first graders request it by name! In this kindergarten and first grade lesson, students will play, solo sing, read rhythms, and read a book! Becca's Music Room



 

Brown Bear, Brown Bear lesson

  • First off, read the Brown Bear book.
  • Next, read the book while singing. I have seen a few different songs, but I have always used the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. You use the melody for “twinkle twinkle little star” for the words “brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?” and “how I wonder what you are” for “I see a white dog looking at me”. And it repeats over and over and over again.
  • Read the book again, and have the students sing along with you if they have not already been singing with you.
  • Then you can play the game!

Game instructions:

  • Get into a circle. Every student gets a stuffed animal (if you don’t have stuffed animals, then you can download my stuffed animal cards here). I usually start holding a brown bear. Everyone sings the opening melody. Since I am holding the brown bear, then I get to sing, “I see a ______ looking at me.” I put a name of someone else’s animal in the blank. I put my animal in the middle. Everyone sings to the person who has the animal I called. Then that person picks another animal.
  • For example: I am holding a brown bear. Everyone sings “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?” I sing, “I see a cheetah looking at me.” Everyone sings “Cheetah, cheetah, what do you see?” and the person with the cheetah sings, “I see a red bird looking at me.” And we keep going until all of the animals are in the circle.
  • PS. I usually have the kids echo sing the animal names on sol-mi before we do the game. This is helpful, especially if you have any weird ones.

Also read: Free K-1 Music Lesson: Singing Voice v. Talking Voice

Free Music Lesson: Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see? This is one of my favorite lessons-- my first graders request it by name! In this kindergarten and first grade lesson, students will play, solo sing, read rhythms, and read a book! Becca's Music Room



 

Extensions:

  • You could stop there, but I usually take it a step further. I will put up rhythms. With kindergarten, we will use ta and titi. With first grade, I will use quarter note quarter rest, two quarter notes, and eighth notes quarter note. We will sort the animal by the rhythm of their name. So “brown bear” would be two quarter notes. We do this together once and then in groups after that. There are some discrepancies, so I always ask the kids the name of their animal. Because “bear” and “brown bear” have different rhythms, but they are not wrong.
  • You could also use my Brown Bear Rhythm cards to play rhythms with instruments, or to match to the animals.
  • Then we use the Brown Bear rhythm cards to have students compose new rhythms. I don’t like to use the actual animals, because composition is a little too free and I find they end up just playing with the animals. If your kids are more self sufficient, then you can try the animals and let me know how it goes!

I am working on a few more extension activities, but for now, this is it! That is a lot of content for just one book.

Also read: Free K-2 Music Lesson: Rhythm

Free Music Lesson: Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see? This is one of my favorite lessons-- my first graders request it by name! In this kindergarten and first grade lesson, students will play, solo sing, read rhythms, and read a book! Becca's Music Room



 

I hope your students enjoy Brown Bear– mine love it and ask for it by name! I usually pull it out twice in the same year because it is so much fun… And I also use it as a solo singing assessment.

You can get the book here.

And you can get 25 beanie babies off of Amazon here!

If you liked this post, make sure that you share it so more people can enjoy it too! You can also subscribe to my email list here. You will get two emails a month with updates about my blog, YouTube, and TPT shop. You will also get a FREE music interest survey for signing up!

And let us know what your favorite activities for Brown Bear are down in the comments! I would love some ideas!

Happy teaching!



Free Music Lesson: Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see? This is one of my favorite lessons-- my first graders request it by name! In this kindergarten and first grade lesson, students will play, solo sing, read rhythms, and read a book! Becca's Music Room



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Children's Church, Games

My Kids’ Favorite Church Games

We play a lot of Children’s Church games. We always have one or two games at the beginning of the class, and a few at the end. Why so many? We strategically do them at the beginning to help get some of the wiggles out, and to make our Children’s Church more high energy.

We recently restructured our Children’s Church to include more volunteers and make it feel separate from Sunday School. Having church games allows the students to have a concentration break between Sunday School and Children’s Church—and helps them learn more! At the end of service, we play games because I am honestly never sure when the parents will show up. Church could end at 12, or the first parent could come at 12:30. You just never know.

There was one time that I was still giving a lesson and church got over early. After that, I decided that we would plan to be done with the lesson at 11:55, so that when parents come, we will be done with the important part.

So we play games at the end.

Read all about how I structure Children’s Church here.

Here are some of our favorites. Some of these church games are actually church-related (or could be) and some are not. Granted, if you think hard enough, you could probably make any of them relate to a Bible story. My Kids' Favorite church Games. What we play in Children's Church to help us take up time or energy! These could work for Children's Church, Sunday School, Awanas, homeschool group, elementary schools, etc! Becca's Music Room

Church games that are church related

Resurrector

Students sit in a circle. Everyone receives a paper with a “d”, an “r”, or a number on it. The d is the detective, the r is the resurrector, and numbers are people. Detective stands in the middle. The resurrector winks (or points, depending on how old your kids are) at people. When someone is winked at, the stand up and say “I’m alive!”. The detective has to decide who the resurrector is. I found this game on Ministry-to-Children. They call is Wink, Alive! Click here for the full instructions. Goes with: Jesus’ resurrection, Lazarus raised from the dead, Dorcas raised from the dead, talking about being spiritually awakened from the dead, etc.

Four Gospels

This is really four corners but with the names of the four Gospels instead of numbers—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. One student stands in the middle and closes their eyes. They count to ten. All of the other students go into a corner. Once after counting to ten, the student who is it calls out a corner name. Students in that corner have to go sit down. Goes with: Learning the books of the Bible

Lazarus wrap up

This is really a bridal shower game. Students get into groups and wrap up a student in toilet paper to look like a mummy. You can judge how good they look, or see who can use the most toilet paper in a set amount of time. Goes with: Lazarus, Jesus being raised form the dead, or Dorcas raised from the dead.

Also read: The Beginner’s Guide to Children’s Church

My Kids' Favorite church Games. What we play in Children's Church to help us take up time or energy! These could work for Children's Church, Sunday School, Awanas, homeschool group, elementary schools, etc! Becca's Music Room

Church games not church related

Obstacle course

This can be related, depending on how you do it. One of my favorites has been to draw on the sidewalk with chalk that says things like “spin 3 times” or “hop on one foot”, etc. one student does it all ant then comes back and tags the next. You could also like set out hula hoops and have them hop though them. These will help with the obstacle course:

Relay race

This is similar. Basically, a whole group of students has to go through the race, come back and tag the next person. You can do this in any way—walking like a crab, carrying something on a spoon, hooked onto someone else, with a balloon between the legs, etc. this is my go to for when I am not sure what to do, because there are so many options!



Riverbank

This one sounds so simple that when a student explained it to me, I thought it was going to be a dud. Boy was I wrong. You put a line on the floor with tape or chalk outside (my room has a line in the carpet anyway, so I don’t have to worry about it). Designate one side as “river” and one side as “bank”. One person stands at the front and says either river or bank. Students jump to that side of the line. If they are on the wrong side, they sit down. As they get it, you can start saying more than one thing at a time, like “river, bank, river” to make it more difficult. Super simple and surprisingly fun.

Freeze dance

This is always a hit. Students dance when the music is on and freeze when it is off. You can use pretty much whatever music you want. Not sure what to use? Toby Mac is usually a big hit and he has enough songs that it will entertain them for a while.

Also: How to Structure Children’s Church in 6 Easy Steps

Museum

AKA my kids’ favorite church game ever. One person is the museum guard. The close their eyes and count to ten. When they come out, all of the students are “statues”. The kids must freeze when the guard is looking at them—but only if he is looking. They are able to move as long as they are not caught. This is particularly great because it keeps them quiet. And if you wanted to, you could tie it into a lesson if you were talking about Lot’s wife turned to salt.

Cat and Mouse

This one is super fun, and you can see exactly how it is played here!

 

Since it is this time of year, read: Church Christmas Program: What do I Choose?

So there you have it! My kids’ favorite church games. What are your kids’ favorite church games? Let us know and add a link to instructions in the comments!

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