Monday, November 14, 2016

Thanksgiving Music Lesson (Steady Beat)

Wow! What a crazy, busy school year it has been!  I am absolutely LOVING my new job.  I am still amazed that I get to go to the same school every day and that I get to see my students every week.  I can already tell that my students are growing leaps and bounds as young musicians.  

As Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, I wanted to share my lesson I have been doing with my kindergarten students this week.  My kindergarten students have been focusing on steady beat for the past couple of weeks.  As I was searching on Pinterest for Thanksgiving lesson ideas, I came across a blogpost from Orffing Around that used the book, Run, Turkey Run by Diane Mayr.  He provided an Orff arrangement on the blog as well that featured an easy accompaniment that I knew my kinders could perform part of it. I added some items to extend the lesson and to focus on steady beat.  

To begin the lesson, my students found a spot scattered in the room.  I introduced the song provided on the Orffing Around blog.  I accompanied my students on the bass xylophone.  While singing the song, the students moved around the room to the beat.  When singing "run, turkey run," the students did a slow run to the steady beat.  I then changed the lyrics to different locomotor movements, such as crawling, jumping, hopping, marching, tiptoeing, walking, etc.  I then selected ideas from my students! Man, they came up with some interesting ideas.  We ended up flying, skating, and swimming around the room as well.  

After the students explored ways to move to the beat, I then displayed a turkey steady beat chart.

The students patted the steady beat while singing the song.  I selected individual students to come to the board to lead the class in tapping the beat as well.  I always try to make patting the beat more interesting by choosing a variety of body parts to pat....our toes, our heads, our backs, etc.  I then passed out a beat chart to each individual student.  We sang the song while tapping the steady beat as I walked around and assessed.  

Next, the students moved to the xylophones.  After reviewing the instrument procedures, we tapped the beat on the bars with our fingertips while singing the song.  I displayed the following image so students could visually see the two notes that are played during the accompaniment: 

Finally, we added the story to Run, Turkey Run.  I read the story to the class.  Each time the story says "Run, turkey run," the students sang the song while playing the accompaniment.  

As suggested on the Orffin Around blogpost, sound effects could also be added, along with the other instrument parts in the Orff arrangement. 

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Hey Jena,
    This is really very nice information you have provided here on the title Thanksgiving Music Lesson. Your writing for kindergarten students is so nice. I read and enjoyed. Thanks for your excellent post.

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