Blooket | How to Add a Fun Twist to Music Games

If you need an online option for your music class, Blooket is a perfect choice. Here are the basics of the game, assessment opportunities, safety reminders, SEL considerations, and then a list of games I’ve created.

Blooket was created to imitate video games that kids love. It is Kahoot with more game options and can be played solo and as a class.

  1. The Basics
    1. Assessment Use
    2. Safety Info
    3. SEL
  2. My Games

The Basics

  • Free signup for the teacher.
  • There is no signup for students, just a game code.
  • Kids don’t need to put in any personal information which makes it easier for little ones to play too.
  • Create your own or use pre-made ones.

The only downside is that you are not able to use audio in the free version. The PLUS version (where you can create audio questions) is $2.99 per month. When I was teaching, I opted for the PLUS version. It was worth it!

Assessment Use

Assessment-Use the games for a fun day or as an assessment. You will receive a stats page at the end of the game with each student’s game name. I always told the kids that I wanted them to use enough of their FIRST name so that I recognized them.

No class list inputs are necessary because the stats are grouped by game and the games are naturally assigned by the class. It’s a great way to do an informal assessment. And not kidding-kids LOVE Blooket!

Safety Info

PLEASE READ: “After finishing a game, students are asked to create accounts (if they don’t already have them) to track their stats and unlock new Blooks. Creating an account is totally optional, but some may not want their students to see this. If you would like to hide this notification, then before you host a game on the Host Settings page (after you select a game mode) uncheck the option that says “Allow Student Accounts” and it won’t show the notification.”

SEL

Blooket is great for kids who are challenged during competition. There are so many different games, that you can choose those that aren’t races and don’t have a final winner.

My Games

Click on one of the games and play SOLO to get a feel for the game options. Group games won’t be available to you as a solo player. You can choose class play to see the other games that are available.

I created these games. It’s the perfect opportunity to let kids work with basic vocabulary and information in a game setting. Go to DISCOVER to find other games created by the Blooket community!

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Hanukkah Activities for the Music Room

Hanukkah is the Jewish Festival of Lights and is celebrated on different days every year. Based on the Hebrew lunar calendar, it usually falls in December.

In music, I like to take all celebrations, holidays, and observances and look at several factors that are common to all of them-food, colors, traditions, and music! I then love to teach about them using a book, game, dance, and music. Wish we could add FOOD!

October through December is a perfect time to talk about traditions including Diwali, Halloween, Day of the Dead, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. I always asked, “Does everybody in the world celebrate everything?” It was a way to say that we can learn about it all, even if we don’t personally celebrate it.

Some links may contain affiliate links.

Hanukkah Resources

I love to use board books or ones with rhyming words. I want the learning to come from mainly the images.

I Have a Little Dreidel SONG

The Game

We always played the Dreidel game in class. I projected the meaning for each side of the dreidel so groups could refer to it. I played with K-5 and they always looked forward to this every year.

I found dreidels in bulk at Target (ages ago before Amazon) 🤣 and then bought pony beads for the “candy.”

Ukulele C & G7

Hanukkah Google Slides Presentation

This Google Slide presentation was shared by Ms. Stern from the Facebook Music Teachers Idea Bank group. It has lots of different activities to learn about Hanukkah. She says to feel free to change the bitmoji and make it your own!

How to Teach Beat-Passing Games

These ideas are for passing a SINGLE object around the circle, not cup passing games and similar where EVERYONE has an object. Many elimination games are played using a single object.

Singing games that involve passing an object to the beat are favorites in the music classroom. No matter what object you use, there are some basic how-tos for teaching kids. Here are some tricks and a list of favorite games.

When I’m teaching the concept for the first time or going over reminders to students who’ve already learned, here is the sequence.

  1. Teaching Pass the Beat Games
    1. Pre-Teaching
    2. Introduce the Song
    3. Secret Magical Compliments & Fixes
    4. Ideas for the Kids Who Are OUT
    5. The END of the Game CAUTIONS
  2. Games
    1. Pass the Pumpkin
    2. In and Out
    3. GROWING LIST-more coming soon!

Teaching Pass the Beat Games

Pre-Teaching

  1. Identify, discuss, and demonstrate the qualities of a good pass. The word “pass” can be misleading. It’s not a toss, drop, or throw. It is PLACED directly and easily in the next person’s hand. In their hand, not dropped in front of them, to the side of them, or in the space created by their criss-cross applesauce legs.
  2. There’s a responsibility on the receiver to have their hand ready. Also, the receiver RECEIVES the pass and does not grab the object from the giver.
  3. Identify that the beat means not going faster or slower in different parts of the circle.
  4. Counting Practice
    • The class pats their legs to a steady beat as they count 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. The teacher points to each child driving home the idea that each child is ONE beat.
    • Repeat the process
    • Add a bean bag or ball reminding students that they should have the item in THEIR hand on THEIR number and only THEIR number. This process lets kids internalize the steadiness of a steady beat.

The object never STOPS. The object doesn’t speed up or down. (important if your song has rests or longer held notes so that students don’t try to match the rhythm)

Introduce the Song

  1. If you haven’t learned the song, do it now with steady beat patting.
  2. Play with your beat-passing object. Make sure the students are singing. The teacher should still walk around the outside of the circle pointing to who should have it.
  3. Let them try it without your help and see where the problems are occurring.
    • If a student is not keeping the beat and you feel it is purposeful, address it. For example, if the object is especially tantalizing 😄 (a soft fuzzy ball, a cute pumpkin, etc) kids may want to hold on to it longer.
    • Many times though, students just get excited or nervous and go too fast.

Secret Magical Compliments & Fixes

  • Time to play “for real” as an out game or however the game is intended.
  • Become the COACH
    • Don’t sing with them.
    • Don’t help them restart the game after each “out.” Tell them they are in charge. Tell them to watch who has the ball at the end of the verse and when you see them ready to begin the first pass, that’s when they need to pat and sing.
    • You’ll find your leaders. Compliment them. “I loved the way Tyrese started singing to get the game going again.” “I loved the way Shari moved back right away when she was out so that the game could continue.”

Ideas for the Kids Who Are OUT

  • Simply scoot back out of the circle, not changing your basic position in the circle, watch the game, and continue to sing and pat.
  • Go get rhythm sticks, sit in your “out” circle spot, sing, and PLAY the steady beat.
  • Get a scarf and move around the room to the beat as the game continues. (this is for classes that have lots of self-control and leadership)

The END of the Game CAUTIONS

Kids get excited when it’s down to the last 4, 3, 2 and so I stop the game and remind them of a couple of safety and sportsmanship items.

  • What do you say at the end of the game? “Congratulations” to the winner and “Good game” to the one who did not win. (or whatever sportsmanship ideas you want to impart) Many times when I ask the question, kids automatically recite what they’ve learned from their after-school sports)
  • While we want to be excited at the end of the game, we will use our words so no jumping, touching, slapping on the back, etc.

Games

Pass the Pumpkin

Here’s the link to this wonderful game that can be used ALL year. Of course it’s great for Halloween. If your school doesn’t celebrate Halloween, change the words. Instead of “Halloween is here” sing “Pumpkin time is here.”

Check out my lyrics writing activity for the spring where I asked kids what you would pass that is spring related.

In and Out

  • This is a perfect game for first and second graders, even third.
  • The challenge is to get them to keep passing on the rests.
  • This rhyme is great for teaching or reinforcing quarter notes and rests!

GROWING LIST-more coming soon!

Name Games to Start Your Year In Music Class

On this page…

  • Name, Name! What’s the Name?
  • The Never-Ending Name Game
  • Four Corners
  • Blast Off Challenge

Name, Name! What’s the Name?

The Never-Ending Name Game

This lesson plan is best spread out over multiple days.

  • Sitting in a circle works best
  • K-2
    1. T speaks every student’s first name and students echo
    2. T speaks and claps student’s first name and students echo
    3. Ss clap and speak their own name and class echoes
    4. Ss clap and speak their own name and NO echoes, just right around the circle.
  • 3-5
    1. Same as K-2 above.
    2. Go around circle and Ss only clap their name, no speaking.
    3. Go around circle and class claps and speaks every student’s name.
    4. Go around circle and class claps, no speaking, everyone’s name.
    5. The class claps each student’s name going right around the circle (this is a fun challenge)

Rhythm & Accent

With 3-5, this is a great activity (if you choose) to talk about natural ways of speaking and rhythm. The name “Ellen.” Is it El-len with 2 quarter notes or with an eighth-dotted quarter pattern?
You can also talk about anacrusis. The name “Latasha.” Is it a two eighths/quarter pattern with the accent on “La” or two eighths/dotted quarter, with the accent on “ta?”

Transfer to Instruments

  • K-5 (Pick and choose from these ideas, although I tried to sequence them from easy to advanced)
    • Take any part of the above activities and transfer to UPP. Drums are wonderful but you could also use rhythm sticks.
    • Add a simple refrain to play after every 4 names. “Name game, name game. Let’s play a name game.”
    • Create a class ostinato using 4 student names. Discuss which order sounds best. See if the class can play it over and over without rushing. Did you use just bass or tone sounds? Maybe add taps to side of drum or other ideas to create some diversity to the tone color if the students are able to remember the patterns.

Group Work

  • Now…put students in groups of 4 and have them do the SAME activity and have them create a name ostinato. (It helps if you have the whole room practice several times with you keeping a stick or clave beat. I’d say, “Ok this may sound messy with all of us practicing at once, but concentrate on your group’s ostinato. 1-2-Ready-Go) You are walking around coaching and helping where needed.
    • Have them play AND speak the names the first time. Each group SHARES their ostinato with the class.
    • Tell them they can keep their previous ostinato or change it but this time just playing it and NO speaking.
    • Try layering in (and out) the group ostinati. FUN!!!

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4 Corners

Preparation

Sitting in a circle works the best.

  • Teacher claps and speaks each student’s first name and the class echoes
  • Students clap and speak their own name and the class echoes
  • Have a discussion about syllables and then ask who has a name with 1 syllable, 2, 3, etc.
  • As a class, go around the circle clapping and speaking each student’s name. (This is a fun challenge to keep it going with no stops)
  • As a class, go around the circle clapping (no speaking) each student’s name. (An even bigger challenge!)

The Game

  • The four corners are names with ONE syllable, TWO syllables, THREE syllables, and FOUR or more syllables.
  • Students choose a corner and T draws a name out of a bowl. (or any method of randomly choosing from the class list)
  • The number of syllables of that person’s name determines which corner is OUT.
  • So if the name is Marcus, everyone standing at the 2-syllable corner is out.
  • Play until there is one winner or you are out of names!

Blast Off Challenge

Sitting in a circle is best. The teacher can stand behind each student to facilitate the flow of the game/rhythms.

  • Pick a starting point in the circle and then students clap and speak each student’s name FOUR times. Try to get the kids to feel the beats in 4 and move seamlessly from one student to the next.
  • If they are successful, clap and speak each name THREE times. Their tendency is to pause after the third repeat to make it feel like 4 so that is a great time to talk about 3 vs. 4.
  • If they are successful, clap and speak each name TWO times.
  • Then, of course, ONE time and if successful, they earn a BLASTOFF! (see video below)

Variations

  • Don’t pause between rotations but go directly from 4X to 3X, 2X, 1X, and Blastoff!
  • If the class is quite proficient, try the entire process with clapping and only THINKING the names. Audiation!
  • Kindergarten and first-grade students usually don’t know everyone’s name or know them well enough to keep within a beat scheme. Put them in groups of four and have them try saying and clapping everyone’s name in their group 4x, then on different days, 3X, 2X, and 1x. Each group can take a turn and share to the class. Check out my Columns and Rows system for quickly making groups of 4!

Valentine Themed Music Resources

The BEST Valentine Game for K-2

To the tune of This Old Man
Valentine, valentine.
Won’t you be my valentine?
Number 1, number 2, number 3 it must be you.
Take my heart along with you.

Sitting in a scattered formation or columns and rows is the most fun, although a circle will work, too. The first child is the leader and has a valentine in their hand and walks around the room as the song is sung. On each of the three numbers, the leader taps the head (or back) of the nearest 3 children. The third child is given the heart, stands up, and holds hands with the leader. The leader continues to slowly walk around the room, meandering in any direction, and when the song gets to the numbers, the child on the end who has the valentine taps 3 heads and gives the valentine to the third child. That child stands up, holds hands with the person who gave them the valentine, and now the group of three walks around the room. The game continues until there is only one child left. When that child gets the valentine, there is only one person left, YOU the teacher. So the end child gets to give the valentine to you.

Roses Are Red

This is a wonderful 6/8 Valentine activity for grades 3-5.

Using the old poem “Roses are Red”, echo speak with body percussion until everyone knows it.

1.  Individuals improvise the poem on pitched percussion/recorders.  When we do this, we start with someone and just proceed all around the room.  I keep a little bass beat on the BX and play a little interlude between each child.  It is so much fun and the 6/8 of course is lilting and beautiful!

2.  Finish the melody activity-On xylophones have students learn DRMS, DRMS for the first two lines of the poem and then they create the melody for the last two lines.  We vote on our favorite and that becomes their class melody.  I usually do it in C pentatonic.  It would work well on recorders in G major.  OR, you could do LDRM in E minor on recorders for a fun and accessible way to finish a melody using the notes EGAB.

3.  Building bricks with 6/8-students brainstorm.  Three eighth note examples are valentine and chocolate.  Dotted quarter examples are love, heart, red, candy.  Put combos together in groups to create B, C, D, E, F, etc. sections in rondo form with the song above as your A section.  Or pick favorite group creation as the B section for a more simple binary form.  These can be transferred to non-pitched percussion.

4.  If you’d like to explore writing poems in the style of “Roses are Red”, try changing the colors and then the rhyming words.

Roses are blue.
Violets are red.
If you agree,
You’ve got rocks in your head.

How to Play Musical Chairs (With a Twist)

Same game but with a twist!

This game, and version of the familiar musical chairs game, is so much fun and easy to set up. I only play it with classes that can follow rules.

What You Need

  • Classroom chairs
  • One textbook (or book) for every student
  • Music (I made you some Spotify playlists at the bottom of the page)
  • Students who are willing to play by the rules

How to Play

Start with a circle of chairs with the seats facing OUT.

The example class has 30 kids, so 29 chairs in a circle, right? Get a stack of textbooks or 29 books of any kind and after the first person is out, you put one book on any chair. I originally used textbooks because they are sturdy, were readily available in my classroom, and if a chair gets bumped, won’t fall off.

There is now one person out and they are in charge of putting the books on the chairs after each elimination. They get in the middle of the circle with the books. You start the music again. I tell the person in the middle to put ONE book on any chair AFTER the music begins again. As soon as they’ve put a book on a chair, you can stop the music whenever because the number of available chairs will fit how many are still in the game, minus one. Unlike the original, there is NO moving of chairs and a student is in charge of the books which allows you to keep your eyes on the game more consistently.

I put a playlist together and just let it roll and only use my mute button to turn the music “off and on” so that my eyes are constantly on the gameplay. Of course, you can stop and start the song, too.

It is SO fun. It is safe as long as you are firm on the rules and if it doesn’t work or you fear someone will get hurt, end the game and move on to something else.

The Rules!

  • If you touch anyone you are out.
  • If you stop moving or run you are out.
  • If you touch a CHAIR you are out. (this prevents pinched fingers and general cheating)
  • You may NOT sit in a chair with a book in it.
  • I (the teacher) am the official. I have to catch people who break the rules and whatever I say RULES.

Spotify Playlists! Ready to Go!

LINKS

Play them from here!

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Let’s Get This Game Started-November Edition



Why an Icebreaker?

  • It’s FUN and perfect for grades 2-6
  • A break from the routine
  • Community Building
  • Can be done in one class period
  • Sharpens listening skills
  • Builds collaboration
  • SEL benefits-relaxation, reduction of stress/anxiety

Voice Exploration

  • High/Low
  • Loud/Soft
  • Rhythmic Speech

How to Play

  • Print the 1 through 30 numbered sheets and cut into strips.
  • Give each student a strip making sure that the numbers are in random order so students don’t know the order of the responses.
  • If you have fewer than 30 students, give a couple of students two strips. If you have more than 30 students, have a few participate with a partner.
Continue reading “Let’s Get This Game Started-November Edition”

Pass the Pumpkin


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.

Continue reading “Pass the Pumpkin”

Let’s Get This Game Started

A music-themed version of this popular ice breaker!

Print the 1 through 30 numbered sheets and cut into strips. Give each student a strip making sure that the numbers are in random order so students don’t know the order of the responses. If you have fewer than 30 students, give a couple of students two strips. If you have more than 30 students, have a few participate with a partner.

I spelled the syllables the way I thought students would have the greatest chance of pronouncing correctly. (doe instead of do, ray instead of re, etc.) If you’d like to spell them the traditional way or make any other changes, feel free to do it in the downloadable Word doc.

Here’s a Word doc download where you can use “as is” or make changes.