November is a time for post-Halloween candy, blustery days, and, of course, Thanksgiving! This week, my students are playing a fun Thanksgiving (assessment) game to get them in the spirit of the holiday.
This song/game is called Turkey, Turkey, Turkey!
To play the game, students sit in a circle. One student sits outside of the circle, facing away from students. Students sing the song and pass a turkey around the circle. I used a Turkey printed on a paper but a stuffed animal would work great as well! Whoever has the turkey on the word day "hides the turkey before Thanksgiving Day" by putting the printed or stuffed animal Turkey behind their back. The student who is sitting outside of the circle remains facing away from the rest of the class and sings "Turkey, where are you?" (sol mi mi sol mi). The student who is hiding the turkey sings "you'll never find me" (sol mi mi sol mi). The student sitting outside the circle has three tries to guess who sang "you'll never find me" without looking. The individual singing responses gave me a chance to assess my students' singing.
It's the end of music class. You line students up, make sure they're standing quiet and still, and open up the door to send them on their way. Much to your surprise(or not!), their teacher isn't there. You estimate you have anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes before the teacher will pick up your students. During that time, students can get pretty restless! Here are some ides on how to keep students occupied while waiting to be picked up.
1. Ask review questions about the concept(s) you covered in class.
2. Sing a favorite song.
3. Ask students to share any "good news" they have.
4. Play an inner hearing game. Take a familiar tune and have students only sing the first word of each line, the last word of each line, the words that rhyme, etc.
5. Sing Happy Birthday to someone who has an upcoming birthday
6. Ask students to name one thing that went well in music and one thing they could do better.
7. Sing part of a song for an upcoming concert.
8. Give standing in line musical meaning! Practice standing like "performers on stage." The more they can practice standing still, smiling, and quiet, the better!
9. Review technique for singing and/or playing. Tell students you are going to demonstrate a skill two ways, one is right and one is wrong. Demonstrate something, such as singing posture: slumped vs. straight and tall. Have students put up one or two fingers to show which one they think is the correct way.
10. Copy me rhythms or sol fege patterns. You can clap, say, or sing a pattern and students repeat the pattern after you. This is especially good for younger students.
11. Review words on your word wall.
12. Ask students what their favorite activity in music is.
13. Rapid fire Q&A. Ask a question that will have a 1-3 word answer, gives students 10 seconds to think of their answer, and go down the line quickly. I used this technique on Halloween when every student wanted to tell me what they were going to dress up as.
14. Name that tune. Hum or play a few lines of a tune that students may know and see if students can guess what it is!
15. Play a short clip of instrumental music. Keep a playlist on hand just for instances like this!
While it may not be convenient when students are picked up late, you might as well make the most of those few extra moments!