1st Grade Rhythm/Melody Lessons 1-6

Each lesson is 30 minutes long.


Lesson 1 – Introduction


Lesson 2 – Rhythm / Melody

  • School Song / Friendship or Positive Song / How Do You Do?
  • Welcome Back to School – from GamePlan: Grade 1 Curriculum    (more steady beat songs). (more high / low songs)
    • Teach song – I sing high: “Can you clap and count to 8”, they echo, then I sing octave lower, they echo.
      • clap, snap, pat, (stand) jump, march, robot
      • Practice high and low singing voices: “I am singing high notes now…”
      • Students think of motions
  • Book: Quick as a Cricket
    • Read book.
    • Tell students they will be acting out the animals silently. Practice a “lion’s roar” silently.
    • Students move in “bubbles” while I play the read the book and play the keyboard in the style of each animal. Every time I stop playing, they freeze.    (more movement songs)


Lesson 3 – Rhythm / Melody

  • School Song / Friendship or Positive Song / How Do You Do?
  • Welcome Back to School
    • Practice the “high / low” parts again
    • “I can _____ and count to eight,” put in words: clap, snap, pat, (standing) jump, march, robot
    • Practice playing drums in air
    • 6 students get drums from shelves, put in middle.  Sing, play & count to 8.
  • BOOK: Quick as a Cricket
    • Bubbles, act out.
  • BOOK: Dance! – Bill T. Jones
    • Read book.
    • Explain that students will move in bubbles again. This time, I will play the keyboard with examples of melodies “with beat” and “no beat.” When they hear something with a beat, they must march around the room. When they hear something with NO beat, they must move in a slow fluid movement.

Lesson 4 – Rhythm / Melody

  • School Song / Friendship or Positive Song / How Do You Do?
  • Welcome Back to School
    • Practice the “high / low” parts again, this time students demonstrate high and low with arms up and down    (more high/low songs)
    • I play some notes high and low on the keyboard. Students demonstrate with their arms whether I am playing high or low.
    • “I can _____ and count to eight,” put in word “click.” Students pantomime using woodblocks.
    • I demonstrate how to play woodblocks and explain the instrument rule: Students must only play when they are supposed to. If they play when they are not supposed to, the instrument will be taken away.
    • 6 students get woodblocks & mallets out of bin, sit in the middle of the circle. When finished, I choose 6 more.
  • Hickory Dickory Dock    (more nursery rhymes)
    • Move hands up and say “oooooo” with voice going higher after the phrase: “The mouse ran up the clock.”
    • Move hands down and say “oooooo” with voice going lower after the phrase: “The mouse went down.”
    • (You could play a slide whistle as they say “oooooo.”)
    • Then I demonstrate glockenspiel glissando going up (I play with glock facing the students, backwards to me). Students mirror movement with hand, demonstrating moving from left to right for “up the clock” and from right to left for “down the clock.”
  • Move & Freeze Activity
    • Students turn on “bubbles.”
    • I play music on keyboard with no beat (using a sound with long, sustained tones) – they move in long, slow, sustained movements
    • I play march-sounding music with beats on keyboard, they stop and pat knees.Hop Old Squirrel  – While still in “bubbles,” I begin to sing a new song. I explain that they should act out the words as I sing them and freeze on the last word: “dee.” I sing different words, such as “walk,” “jump,” “hop,” (explaining the difference between jump and hop being the difference between using 2 feet and 1 foot, respectively), “march,” “tiptoe,” etc. As time allows, students can brainstorm ways to move.   (more circle games)

Lesson 5 – Rhythm / Melody

  • School Song / Friendship or Positive Song / How Do You Do?
  • Hickory Dickory Dock
    • Review high / low, up / down
    • All kids facing me, half class on one side, half on other with an aisle between them
  • Teach both groups both parts:
    • Left side: temple blocks in front of them – “tick tock” pattern on the steady beat. Students pantomime, then take turns on temple blocks (2 students per temple block). They must continue to pantomime in order to get a turn.
    • Right side: 2 glockenspiels in front. Students pantomime “ooooooo” up and down movements with hands, then 1 student per glockenspiel.
      • Switch sides so each child gets to play one of the parts.Hop Old Squirrel – Students in bubbles, I sing song. Like last time, they act out the words as I sing them and freeze on the last word: “dee.” I sing different words, such as “walk,” “jump,” “hop,” (explaining the difference between jump and hop being the difference between using 2 feet and 1 foot, respectively), “march,” “tiptoe,” etc. As time allows, students can brainstorm ways to move.

Lesson 6 – Rhythm / Melody

  • School Song / Friendship or Positive Song / How Do You Do?
  • Students are put in a seating chart on the risers (up until now they were sitting in a circle on the floor).
  • Hickory Dickory Dock
    • Review high / low, up / down
    • metallophones – show students this picture (below) – which is up? (answer is “on the right”)
    • play glissandos: 3 kids on metallophones,
    • tick tock pattern – 3 kids on woodblocks
  • Hop Old Squirrel – Circle game  (I keep track who has been “it” for each day. Each day we play, I choose about 5 students to be “it,” choosing different students each day.)

See also

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6 thoughts on “1st Grade Rhythm/Melody Lessons 1-6”

  1. Rhythmand Glues

    Thanks for this post. Great to see that other teachers jump right in and make music the first day of school! Also great to see that my lessons are very similar you yours. Validation! Ha!

  2. Rhythmand Glues

    Thanks for posting! It is great to see that someone else jumps in and makes music on the first day. Also great to see that my plans are a lot like yours. Validation! Ha! Thanks, again!

  3. Hey Beth… How long are your music classes in Grades K-2? And only once a week? You probably say somewhere and I just haven’t come across it yet because you have SOOOO MUCH MATERIAL HERE! A big thanks for all your amazing work and for sharing.

  4. Sorry – I probably haven’t mentioned it.
    With K, I see them once a week for 30 minutes.
    With 1st through 5th, I see them twice a week for 30 minutes.

  5. Hi Beth! I’m a new music teacher and I love your plans! Easy to use, easy to modify for the needs of my students – they’re great! I’ve noticed that you’ve listed the GamePlan Books. Would you recommend getting them if you had to pay for them out of your own pocket? I’m debating…

    1. Hi Kristen!

      Hmmm, good question. I guess I would say they are really worth the money, but I bought them with the school’s money. I only ever bought the books, not the visual aids, because I always made my own. Before spending your own money (they are really expensive!), I guess I would wonder if you have a lot of other resources to draw from or if you could really use the ideas. I found I used the 1st and 2nd grade books more than the 3rd grade book – and I haven’t bought the 4th, 5th or K. If you can afford it, go for it! But, if you’re on a tight budget, I’d say use the free resources you can find online! 🙂

      Hope that helps!
      Blessings,
      Beth

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