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In where I teach in NJ, we have not celebrated Halloween since 2010 due to Mother Nature. Two years ago, an unexpected snowstorm came through NJ and knocked out power for a few days. Last year, Hurricane Sandy plowed through NJ and the power remained out for almost two weeks. Our Halloween Parades were cancelled, so the songs that we have been wanting to sing, were put away for another year. This year, the weather was mild and our annual Halloween Parade went off as scheduled. Here are some fun musical activities and songs that we performed for that day:
PreK/K “Theme: Numbers”:
- Song: Halloween is Coming: This song can be found by googling the title followed by “ha ha ha”. We made this song into a finger play. I also brought out the combination of “h” and “a”, the sound the two letters make together, and how it is the first two letters of Halloween.
- Song: Three Black Bats: I found this song in the book Holiday Piggyback Songs, which is a book of holiday songs sung to familiar children’s songs. Three Black Bats is sung to the tune of Three Blind Mice. We created motions to use with this song and if you have advance enough singers, you can try to sing this song as a round.
- Song: “1 2 3 4” sung by Feist (video can be found here: http://safeshare.tv/w/zHPoeZVpmj): My concert theme for PreK this year is numbers. When I came across this song on the youtube sesame street channel when my oldest was 18 months, I immediately adored it. There are numerous songs from that show that are current pop tunes that were rewritten with educations lyrics for younger children. The three through five year-olds adore moving to song (we move like the animals named in the song) and singing the song.
- Song: This Old Ghost: Another favorite found in the book Holiday Piggyback Songs. This is a number songs that included four verses. The kindergartners made up three more to have the song go up to seven. They love to rhyme at this age and it was a fun activity for them to create new verses.
- Five Little Pumpkins: A very popular song, poem, fingerplay, and numerous books can be found for this. Just by googling “five little pumpkins powerpoint”, I found this excellent powerpoint by Kelly Nyman on her kindergarten classroom website,http://www.kellyskindergarten.com/PowerPoints/powerpoints.htm. This powerpoint is synced to music that would not download, however, since we are music educators, we can supply the music and the students can supply the vocals.
- The Day After Halloween by Greg Gilpin from So Much To Sing About! Ten Songs for Special Times Throughout the School Year. My students and my teachers love this song, especially the lines “It’s the day after Halloween. I’ve got the biggest sugar buzz you’ve ever seen…my teacher wants to scream!” I used Audacity to import the song file, used the effects menu and scrolled down to “change tempo,” and slowed the tempo down on the song. This made it a little easier for the students to sing and chant the middle verse.
To see and listen to the examples of the songs and to download the notebook file I used in class, please visit my website by clicking here.
Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com