Halloween/Fall Ideas for K-2 Elementary Music
I love October and so do my students! The changing leaves, Halloween, and going to the pumpkin patch make October full of so many memories. I use a lot of fall/Halloween themed activities in my classroom and wanted to share them with everyone!
Pumpkin Fat is a great activity for kindergarten and first graders. We talk about what a jack-o-lantern is and how they have different types of faces. We then sing "Pumpkin Fat" and at the end of the song we make a Jack-O-Lantern face! The students get pretty creative!
This is a classic Halloween song! I use this song Kindergarten thru second grade to teach early musical form. In the A section we walk around the room like zombies. In the B section we will freeze and do either the mash potato or the twist. The students love slowly walking around the room like zombies!
Who Has the Pumpkin?
This game is played similar to "Doggie, Doggie". Everyone sings "Who has the pumpkin, who has the pumpkin?" while sitting in the circle with their hands behind their back. One student has the pumpkin behind their back and sings the solo, "I have the pumpkin, I have the pumpkin". The person with their eyes closed in the middle of the circle gets three guesses on who has the pumpkin. I have used small fake pumpkin in the past but students really love it when you use a small baby pumpkin!
For a brain brake, I will sometimes use this song to get some wiggles out while also dancing and having fun!
5 Little Pumpkins
I have the students speak this poem and then we act it out as a class. I mainly use this song as a not threatening way to practice performing in front of the class. First, pass out five pumpkins to different students who stand in a line. Each pumpkin will say their own line by themselves while the rest of the class says the rest of the poem. To add to the poem, I have also had students use thunder drums during the "oooo when the wind" while another student turns out the lights as the pumpkins rolled back to their seats at the end of the poem. Easily a student favorite!
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate!
The first one said, "Oh my it's getting late!"
The second one said, "there are bats in the air!"
The third one said, "but I don't care!"
The fourth one said, "Let's run, run, run!"
The fifth one said, "I'm ready for some fun!"
Then oooo went the wind and out went the lights
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!
The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything
The ending of this book is great because all of the "scary items" become a nice scarecrow! You can have the students add motions to every item in the books which becomes pretty silly. The second time I read this book, the students help me pick instruments that would go with each sound and we play the book together!
I love this song from Music K-8 and so do my second graders! We are starting to talk about musical form and this is a great example, plus it is just a fun song! I have the personal copy myself but I did find a YouTube video if you wanted to listen to it with the lyrics.
Skin and Bones
This piece is a great way to get second graders into their head voice! I generally sing the words while the students sing the "ooos". Once we learn the song, I will pick one student to be the old lady or old man, put a wig/beard on their head, and have them walk through the "cemetery". We have a very pretty maple cemetery near our school and I tell the students to stand and be the maple trees in the cemetery swaying in the wind when they sing the "oooo" part. The old lady/man will then go around collecting some of the bones I have laid around the room (I use plastic bones I already owned from playing "Doggie Doggie"). At the end of the song, all of the students yell boo and the old lady/man runs away. The wigs make it silly and talking about the maple trees makes the song not very scary. The students love acting this one out!
Where's My Web?
While practicing Sol, La, and Mi Kodaly concepts with my students, we enjoy playing "Where's My Web" by Linda McPherson on TeacherPayTeachers. They love the sounds the spiders make when they scurry to their home web. Linda McPherson has a bunch of other games that my students enjoy playing so check it out!