7 Super Fun Activities for fall
Can you believe it’s fall already? I know! Leaves are changing, the air is crisp and cool, and your students are going through that October uh-oh. Mine too. You probably have a ton of tried and true fall and Halloween activities ready, but you may find that they’re not working the way they used to. They’re too hard or not active enough, or who knows! Your students are changing every year, and it seems more difficult to keep them engaged but still learning.
That’s why today, I’m going to share 7 super lively ways to keep your kiddos learning. Each picture book recommendation includes some Stories That Sing vocabulary, so let’s check that out first.
A tiny melody is a short phrase that is composed from a repeating pattern in the picture book.
Sound words are words that when you read them create a sound in your head (ie. bang, crash, or slide).
Movement words are words that when you read them make you think of a type of movement (ie. jump, run, leap, or flutter).
Check out the following 7 activities:
- The Monster of the Woods, by Claire Freedman – this picture book is about a group of friends who are together and a monster shows up at their house. The fun ensues as the monster works his way into the house because he’s afraid of thunderstorms. This picture book can be used for:
- Singing a tiny melody using the repeating phrase (the monster of the woods)
- Playing or doing body percussion to the sound words included, like tappity tap.
- Click, Clack Boo by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin – This is adorable story is a reprise of the picture book Click, Clack Moo and includes all the lovable characters from that classic. In this story, we find out that Farmer Brown does NOT like Halloween, but all the farm animals are having a Halloween party. This picture book can be used for:
- Short & long sounds (click, clack, booooooo)
- Sound words (like crunch, crunch, crunching)
- Loud & soft (crunch vs. tap)
- Rhythm reading (compose some rhythms to the sound words and play them on instruments)
- The Super Tiny Ghost by, Marilee Joy Mayfield – Twas the night before Halloween, and one tiny ghost wanted to have the biggest, loudest ghost of all. He’s in for a surprise when he finally scares a super tiny human. This picture book can be used for:
- Singing a tiny melody composed from the repeating pattern, Boooooo, I’m here to scare you!
- Playing a basic walking bordun on Orff instruments to accompany the repeating pattern.
- The story can be sung to the tune of
- Spooky Hour by Tony Mitton – All the kids in the neighborhood are on their way to a Halloween party. Join in the rhyming fun with this colorful, active storybook. This book can be used for:
- Singing to a tiny melody composed from the repeating pattern, “Midnight spooks are comin’ around. Look it’s spooky hour.”
- Play instruments on the sound words like bong and clickety clack.
- Move to the movement words like swirling, whirling, and floating.
- Leaf Trouble by Jonathan Emmett – Pip Squirrel is freaking out, because all the leaves are falling off of his tree. He and his sister race around trying to catch them and put them back, before their mom comes to the rescue. This picture book can be used for:
- Fast & slow ( words like scampered vs. drifted)
- Improvisation or follow the leader on hand drums (ie. teacher plays a scampering sound on the hand drum and students follow).
- Singing a tiny melody (Leaves are falling down).
- Bella’s Fall Coat – Bella loves her fall coat, and she loves running and playing outside. Her grandma thinks it’s time for a new coat, but Bella loves her coat too much. This picture book can be used for:
- Singing a tiny melody to the repeating phrase, This one is my favorite.
- Moving to movement words like woosh, twirled, and whirled.
- Playing rhythmic phrases on instruments to phrases like crinkled and crackled or sneaked and snooped.
- Fast & slow (sneaked vs. whoosh)
- Fall Leaves – an original song all about the beautiful, colorful fall leaves falling down. The link included with this suggestion is for the Leaf Trouble/Fall Leaves bundle. This song can be used for:
- High vs. low
- Going down the scale
- Playing the chimes
- Learning to play a glissando
- Playing an orffestration on xylophones, metalophones, and glockenspiels.
Activities #6 & 7 are perfect if you have students who don’t celebrate Halloween, or you just don’t want to celebrate. They are completely focused on fall fun.
How about classroom decor? What are some quick and easy ways to decorate for fall or Halloween? The Dollar Store always has great fall and Halloween decor. You can pick up some fun styrofoam gravestones, spiders and skeletons, fall leaves, and even leave ceiling decorations and vines.
The most fun is to block out the light and add a few black-lights to your classroom. Then you can add glow sticks, glow-in-the-dark tape on your drum sticks and mallets, and even get a class set of glow-in-the-dark necklaces.
Fall is the perfect time for some themed lessons. Storybook lessons are a great way to add structure and engagement to your activities, while still teaching all the music skills you want to add. The storybooks included in this post have Amazon affiliate links, so you can easily find these picture books. Half of all proceeds from affiliate links go towards purchasing picture books for children in need.
Don’t forget to join me for a special Facebook live in my private Facebook group to find out more about these activities, Tuesday, October 18th at 6:30 PM EST (5:30 PM Central). Need a replay? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org.