1st Grade Rhythm & Melody Lessons

Lesson 1 – Introduction

Lesson 2 – Rhythm / Melody

  • Opening Song: (School Song / Friendship or Positive Song / How Do You Do?)
  • Chumbara (more steady beat songs) (more high / low songs)
    • Introduce song as students pat knees on the beat.
    • At the end, change the lyrics to “low high low” and move hands down, up, down.
    • Sing different verses – even student names. Each time move hands up and down with the melodic contour.
  • Sing octave patterns with the lyrics “low” and “high,” students echo and move hands. For instance:
    • Sing C C’ C while singing “low high low,” students echo…
    • After several examples, play keyboard and sing at the same time, students echo…
    • Then, just play some examples on the keyboard, students echo by singing “low high low” (or whatever the pattern was).
  • Sailing in the Boat
    • Introduce song – students make rowing motions on the beat.
    • Teach adapted version for High & Low – move hands up and down with the melodic contour.
    • Show the high & low visuals.
    • Students stand up, pretend to be in a row boat. Move hands in rowing motion. Move hands high and low when those parts are sung.
  • Tell the story (or read a book) about the Three Billy Goats Gruff. Use high, middle and low voices to describe each goat.

More lessons available below.

  • 1st Grade Rhythm/Melody Lessons 1-13

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6 thoughts on “1st Grade Rhythm & Melody Lessons”

  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!

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