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It’s here, it’s here! It’s finally here! Well…. Almost. It’s almost the end of the school year… so how do you keep kids engaged right now?! In this blog post, we’re talking about end of the year music lessons for lower grades– K-2.
These lesson focus on activities that are fun and engaging, but also either:
1. Get the wiggles our or
2. Are really easy for you or
Because when it comes to end of the year music lessons for lower grades, my goal is to make life as easy as possible for me while keeping it interesting for them.
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Let’s start simple– coloring sheets!
My second graders are obsessed with the color by note activities we have been doing this year. I try to keep them on hand and have them do one every month for whatever concept we’re working on– solfege or rhythm.
They think they are just coloring, but I know that they are actually practicing reading and identifying music notes!
Next up… the parachute! I love scarves, and use them throughout the year. I only pull out the parachute, though, for end of the year music lessons for lower grades (upper grades sometimes get them for Christmas).
Parachutes can be used to learn about phrasing, form, and more.
I love to start with Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks. The form is AABA. There’s 2 ways to do it:
- Have students do “little shakes” on A and freeze on B (helps if they are sitting down)
- Have students walk in a circle on A, switch directions on the second A, and then do little shakes on B.
You could use it with any song with a repeated chorus, and have them shake on the chorus. You can sing a song and have them switch directions after every phrase.
Annnd a simple one is Wheels on the Bus (yes, I know, but trust me). Students walk when you sing wheels on the bus. The go in and out for the door going open and shut. They go side to side for the windshield wipers, And so on.
It’s fun. Try it.
If you don’t have a parachute, get one here and thank me later (you can thank me on Instagram by sharing your parachute lessons! @beccasmusicroom)
Check out the Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks complete lesson below!
Song with movement are always my go to! These are great, because you can change the movement and they can continue to go on forever and ever and ever. You can also have them start in their seat, then let them move around the room and it will feel like two different activities.
Here’s a few of my favorites:
- Looby Loo: Walk on the chorus, then follow the words
- My Poor Hand: Shake all of the different parts of your body!
- Well We Walk: Follow the words
Form is one of my favorite things to teach at the end of the year, because it doesn’t need quite as much prep work as rhythm and melody. Plus, this time of year, lessons are constantly getting interrupted by field trips, assemblies, testing, and all of the crazy things we save for the end of the year.
You can use scarves, movement, drawing, and more to learn about form!
Play along videos
Once your students are reading (or even if they aren’t!) there are tons of free play along videos on YouTube. You can use them to practice quarter and eighth notes or solfege. You can even do body percussion ones where you just practice moving your body.
Here’s a few of my favorites:
- We Don’t Talk about Bruno body percussion
- Jungle Boogie body percussion
- Can’t Stop the Feeling rhythm
- Thunder rhythm
- Africa rhythm
And, my last suggestion for end of the year music lessons for lower grades…. Singing games. Of course.
There are a million fun singing games, but here are a few of my favorite:
- London Bridge: Sing the song and move around in a circle. 2 people (I always do this) make a bridge. When the song ends, the bridge falls down on whoever is there!
- Cut the Cake: This is a fun game! Stand in a circle holding hands and have one kid move around the edge. At the end of the song, the it students “cuts the cake” by putting his or her hands through the hands of the 2 students next to them. Those two run opposite ways around the circle. Whoever makes it back to the “it” person first goes next!
- Grizzly Bear: Walk around in a circle, and when the song stops, the bear jumps up and looks for people to eat! If you move, you are out! Full lesson here.
- Doggie Doggie: This is fun when you need a calmer or quieter game. Sit in a circle. The “doggie” closes his or her eyes while everyone sings. The teacher hides a “bone” in someone’s hands. That person sings “I have your bone” at the end of the song. The doggie has to guess who sang it.
- We are Dancing: The original game for this is a chase game (click here to watch), but I prefer the calmer version. Everyone dances around the room during the song. At the end, if the wolf (usually me) sees you moving, you are out. Calm, simple, and FUN. Plus it gets the wiggles out.
What are your favorite end of the year music lessons for lower grades? Let me know by sending me a DM on Instagram (@beccasmusicroom) and telling me! I can’t wait to hear from you!