Where I teach, you can use Halloween-themed music and activities to assist in teaching musical concepts in class. That is not always the case and when you cannot, many elementary music educators will use a theme about fall that could include leaves, pumpkins, and more. When I need resources for fall or Halloween related material, I tend to search out activities and ideas from various music educators and networks. Here are a few that have worked well in my classroom:
Ok. I know, I know. This is the site of the infamous Baby Shark song. However, this site also has some easy-to-go-to simple songs for young students. I have used Snowflake twice in a concert, and it has been a wonderful song for students in K and 1 to sing at a Holiday Concert.
This year, I found Can You Make A Happy Face?, which is a song about the faces you can make when you carve a jack-o-lantern. My PreK and kindergarten students quickly learned this song and love to sing it. This song also nicely coordinated with the classroom’s ongoing unit of feelings. The site also includes sheets for the children to create their own pumpkin faces. The students could then create new verses and sing them or create an arioso around the new faces they draw on their pumpkin workshop sheets.
When I need to find songs for PreK and K, I will sometimes utilize a Google search. For this year’s PreK/K Halloween parade, I found numerous from the website, Pre-K Pages. My young student love Five Little Monsters fingerplay and Five Little Pumpkins. These fingerplays are wonderful as we sing them, act them out, and bring in cross curricular connections like take-aways (subtraction).
This is a wonderful collection of 67 unison and part songs, including songs with piano accompaniment, songs with Orff instrument accompaniment, rounds, game songs, readings, poems and reader’s theater for special days and holidays throughout the school year. The fall and Halloween songs and activities are loved by my students. Plus, if you have a subscription to a streaming service, you can stream these songs on most streaming services.
My favorite is the song, Falling Leaves. My first graders sing this song, find the descriptive words to help them use scarves to move to the music, and then perform the song with a simple two-part Orffestration based on the tonic. This song is also in minor, which gives a beautiful and mysterious mood.
Here are my first graders performing Falling Leaves:
When I need more choices for Halloween or Fall songs, I will perform a google search. This will result in finding other music educator’s ideas posted on their websites, blogs, podcasts, music education networks, and more. Some of my favorites are: