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Now of course, you can use this lesson at any point of the year, but I am going to use it on the last week of school (and will update with any extra information I come up with then). This luau will include singing, dancing, and of course, limbo. Although we are doing music standards (we sing music, we move to music, we connect music with history and culture), this lesson will be mostly fun.
Because it’s the last week of school. It’s supposed to be fun.
You will notice I pick activities strategically—we do an active warm up first, followed by a calming activity, then some fun, and finally a calming activity at the end. I try to structure all lesson like this, if possible.
This lesson will include a little bit of social studies. You can find some more social studies tips here.
And without further adu.. here is the end of school luau!
End of School Luau!
- Hawaiian Rollercoaster ride song
- Lilo & Stitch video—the scene we are watching is here, but you can buy the whole thing here for a good price.
- Stick for limbo (I am using a pool noodle)
- Music for limbo (I am using 50s but Beach Boys would be great)
- Ukulele or other classroom instrument (optional) (I really want this ukulele!)
- Optional leis
I can sing and dance to Hawaiian music.
- When students come in, give them a lei to wear for the day (I take them back for the next class, but you can let them have them if they keep them). Tell them we are having a luau and ask if anyone knows where they have luaus.
- Tell them luaus are from Hawaii. Hawaii is a state in the US, but it is far away (pull up a map that shows Hawaii).
- Baby Shark song! If you don’t know this one, it is awesome. You can check it out here.
- Pick a movement for the chorus, verses, and instrumental parts of the song Hawaiian Rollercoaster Ride. Have students follow you in their movements. You can also have students pick, but I picked ours so that they went with the song. I used this strictly to have kids get some wiggles out so I wasn’t concerned about them learning very much in this part of the lesson.
- Watch the video of the Lilo and Stich movie that has this scene. This one is the sing along version.
- Then, pick two students who are doing a good job to come up and hold the limbo stick. Have them walk in a circle (I use the perimeter of the carpet) and limbo under the stick. Tell them that if they hit the stick, they are out.
- Alternate version: If you prefer, you can have them go through a different way each time. So one time they could crawl like a crab. They can walk like a dog, they can lean forward or backward, whatever you pick. You can pick a different one each time they go through.
- Limbo! Play some beachy 50s music while they do this.
- To help them calm down, show them some pictures of Hawaii. You can just google “Hawaii” and then show them the google images results. This helps them understand that it is an actual place, not just something in Lilo and Stitch.
- Teach them the song “Aloha Oe” by rote or by solfege (whatever you prefer). You can see the ukulele/guitar/piano tabs to play with it here. Once they have at least kind of learned the song (I’m only doing the chorus), sing it with them and play an instrument (or sing with a video). It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be fun!
And there’s our luau! It incorporates movements, games, singing, and social studies!
You could use this with older students as well—without even tweaking much.
Also read: Blue Skies Music Lesson
Another good thing about this lesson is that it has a very very easy backup plan—if the students are too out of control for the fun, then they can just watch Lilo and Stitch! (and make sure you write that into your lesson plans!) You can find more backup plans here.
What would you include in a last week of school luau? Let me know in the comments!