Pass the Pumpkin

Get your students playing barred instruments with this Orff arrangement (and other ideas) for the Halloween song, Pass the Pumpkin. Halloween is the perfect backdrop for engaging learning activities in music class.

This is a great beat-passing game! Whoever has the pumpkin on the last beat of the song is OUT! Continue playing until there is a final winner. As students get out, they can go get sticks and play to the beat as the game progresses.

Learn more about how to teach beat passing games.

A spooky picture to go along with the classic Halloween song Pass the Pumpkin.

Game * Orff Arrangement * Student-Created Springtime Version

Pass the Pumpkin Orff Arrangement

An Orff arrangement of the Halloween classic song Pass the Pumpkin.

Other Teaching Ideas for Pass the Pumpkin

I LOVE teaching about minor keys and this has such a great descending line with the last 5 notes-mi, re, do, ti, la. It’s so fun to play in D minor with a simple D bordun on BX and other instruments playing the last five notes on A, G, F, E, and D.

Take a fun poem for a B section and you’ve got a performance piece!

There have been schools where I didn’t talk about Halloween and so my new lyrics were: Pass the pumpkin all around, listen to that pumpkin sound. Ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo, pumpkin time is here!

To play the game, I either bought a small real pumpkin or used the stuffed one that I got from Goodwill.

Here’s a cute one from Amazon that is washable and without a scary face.

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Written in 2/4

An Orff arrangement of the Halloween classic song Pass the Pumpkin.

Springtime Version

My mystery song (only the rhythm to go on) today was Pass the Pumpkin. When students figured out that it was Pass the Pumpkin, they were challenged to create a spring version of this fall song.

“Pass the twister all around. Listen to that whirling sound. Oo, oo, oo, oo. Tornado season is here.” Then I drew the tornado on the tennis ball and we played the game.

A beat-passing tennis ball for a student-created game of a spring version of Pass the Pumpkin.

Author: lbbartolomeo

I'm a mom, wife, teacher, reader, gardener, trekkie, sci-fi fanatic, musician, dog lover, and a Christian. I hope my contributions bring some joy and happiness to your life!

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