Are You Afraid of the Dark? 4 Halloween Activities for the Music Classroom
Musical Bumps in the Night
Ghosts and goblins, witches too. I'm not scared, how about YOU?
Activities incorporating rhymes like these are what get the adrenaline pumping for your Music students around Halloween time. Here are a few that I have used that I found to be both instructionally effective and of course, fun!
Halloween Rhythm Worksheet
This is a fun worksheet that contains various Halloween phrases and a rhythm box. Students have to match the correct rhythm to each phrase. You can make this worksheet as long or short as you want. I give prizes to those who have the most answers correct. By doing this activity, students must be able to identify various rhythm combinations and use their listening skills to match them to the phrases. For example, quarter notes will be used for one syllable words and eighth notes will be used for two syllable words. See below for an example of a Halloween rhythm worksheet.
It's All Right...In The Dark!
This is a Halloween poem written by Sharon Falk, that incorporates various dynamic changes. It starts off very soft and each line gets louder as your students read. They also have to pat a steady beat on their laps as they recite the poem aloud as a class. (A drum may also be used for this) The dynamic markings are indicated on the handouts. Please see below for an example.
Sammy, the Snickers Snake
This is a longer Halloween poem written by Bob Tucker (click the link for the poem), that I first read to my students (appropriate for my 3rd-5th graders). It is quite comical in nature and they get a laugh out of it. I have used it as a mini-play that the students actually act out that allows us to focus on the drama aspect that Halloween often brings. The poem is about a snake that dresses up as a barber pole for Halloween but gets himself in trouble with the vampires that come out that night. It is suspenseful but funny all at the same time. I do a lot in my class with poetry, rhyming and it's connections with song and rhythm and this activity can be used for this as well.
Halloween Hot Potato
These Halloween activities will give your elementary kids a treat, while you "trick" them into learning several musical concepts. Halloween is one of the best holidays to celebrate the joy of music!