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It’s January! I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year! Today was our first day back to school here.
Although I’m not in the classroom this year, I wanted to share some of my favorite music lessons to teach in January. The last few years, I have done a monthly listening lesson at the start of each month. You can check out the listening lessons here if you need some ideas!
This year, I’ve decided to do something a bit different. Instead of only sharing monthly listening lesson ideas, I’m going to be sharing some of my favorite lessons and activities for each month.
January is not my favorite month. I’m not a huge fan of the cold, and after Christmas and New Year’s day have passed, I’m ready for spring! So I like to choose activities that remind me of my favorite things.
The Skater’s Waltz
This fun piece is always a favorite with the younger classes! I had the students move to their own spaces and pretend to skate, moving to the beat. And a plus, it’s a great way to intro 3/4 time! If you have paper plates, I’ve heard of teachers using those as the skates! Those would be perfect for small groups, too!
What you’ll need for this activity:
- Skater’s Waltz recording (Émile Waldteufel)
- two paper plates per person (optional)
How to do this activity:
- ask children about their favorite cold weather activity
- ask if anyone has been ice skating before, and have them demo
- practice the waltz feel by saying “1,2,3” , “1,2,3”
- practice swaying alternate directions for each “1,2,3” pattern while listening to the music
- skate to the music using feet or paper plates as ice skates
Favorite Books for January:
Bear Snores On
I love this book! It is a wonderful little book about a bear who sleeps through all sorts of things, and it’s a favorite with the young ones, especially! I like to pair it with favorite bear songs, like “Grizzly Bear”.
This book is so much fun! It’s a darling story about different animals that all find their way into a lost mitten. I assign animals to students in the class, and then we retell the story. You can also add instruments to represent the different animals in the story!
What are some of your favorite January activities?