The Jumping Game Easy Brain Break Activity For Your Classroom

You need to have several “tricks” to pull out of your back pocket when kids need to have a break, to expend some energy, to divert attention from something else going on in the room (a potential meltdown for ex.), to prepare them for a high-concentration activity, or when you the teacher need to have a mental break yourself.

And so, the Jumping Game was born!

  • Stand in a circle
  • Play a song with a good beat (see Spotify playlist below)
  • T stands on the outside of the circle and taps a child on the shoulder.
  • That child goes into the middle and begins to jump
  • Prepare kids for the jumping game by talking about how they can be creative by using feet together, feet apart, 1 and 2-foot jumping/hopping, use of arms, bending knees, turning as you jump, etc.
  • Everyone in the circle imitates the leader in the middle
  • T occasionally comments about some of the fine points of the jumper. “Ooh, did you see how they alternated bending their elbows as they jumped?”
  • Tap the next child in the circle after about 10 seconds, continuing to make your way around the circle.
  • In a class of 25, this gave the class about 4 minutes of jumping.

The Music

I used anything with a good beat that I knew would engage the kids. If we were near a seasonal event, I’d play something related.

Here’s my Spotify list of some possibilities or use the player below!

Give Thanks | Echo Song for Orff, Movement, Ukulele, Scarves

Pull out this versatile echo song for primary students that’s about appreciation, thanksgiving, and thankfulness in November or for other celebrations throughout the year. A simple Orff arrangement, one-chord C ukulele part, scarf activities, and movement will make this a great concert piece or SEL activity in the classroom.

Give Thanks is available as a single resource or part of this Thanksgiving Bundle!

Continue reading “Give Thanks | Echo Song for Orff, Movement, Ukulele, Scarves”

Popular Dance and Movement Resources for the Classroom

Movement and dance are integral in a great music education experience for children by providing ways to express, explore, and learn. This page contains dances, games, activities, lesson plans, and philosopy.

Continue reading “Popular Dance and Movement Resources for the Classroom”

St. Patrick’s Day Special Activities With History, Songs, And Dances

On This Page

  • Slideshow (St. P history, Rattlin’ Bog, Irish Washerwoman, Sing a Rainbow)
  • Rattlin’ Bog with history and bodhran
  • The Broom Dance
  • Follow the Rainbow info

Google Slide Presentation ⬇️

At the bottom of the slide, click on the 3 dots to find the ENTER FULL-SCREEN link.

Click to Begin or Enter Full Screen & Begin

If you have a problem, send an email to oodlesofmusic21@gmail.com or comment below.

Rattlin’ Bog

The Broom Dance

  • Set up three chairs and two lines of students (facing into center is best) are lined up from the two outer chairs. There are three students sitting in the chairs and the student in the middle has a shamrock (or valentine or snowflake or whatever)
  • When the music begins, everyone claps the steady beat and the child with the shamrock gives the shamrock to either the person on their right or left. The person who just received the shamrock moves to the middle seat and the two others dance down the lane and join the end of their respective lines.
  • The empty chairs are taken by the student next in line from each of the two rows.
  • Use any fun Irish song!
  • This is a great movement activity for K-2.

Follow the Rainbow

This song by Teresa Jennings is FABULOUS and for the price of the singles kit on Music K8 ($14.95 currently), it is worth it because you can use it any time of the year and you WILL use it every year!

Encanto Song Ideas and Music Activities for Teaching Right Now

We Don’t Talk About Bruno

Let’s talk about Bruno! 🤣 Here’s a new MOVEMENT video for Bruno with the ending movement matching the contrapuntal lines of the ending. This is for parents, classroom teachers, music teachers, and anyone who

The Charm of Encanto

This original song inspired by the Spanish word, encanto, is accompanied by an Orff arrangement, Latin rhythm and melodic elements, and is a great extension to the movie craze that has swept the nation.  

It’s a perfect concert selection or classroom exploration of Latin-flavored ostinati!

Colombia, Mi Encanto

Activity Packet from Disney

This packet from Disney is amazing and has information about the characters, Columbia, nature, and music along with printable activities.

Encanto Lessons on Google Slides

Thank you Cathy for these Google Slide lessons!

Who Has Seen the Wind? Song & Lesson Rhythmic REMIX

The classic song, “Who Has Seen the Wind?” has been REMIXED and is ready for winter, spring, summer, and fall windy weather!

Continue reading “Who Has Seen the Wind? Song & Lesson Rhythmic REMIX”

Spotlight Classroom Musician of the Week – Thelonious Monk


Thelonious Monk, Jazz Pianist

Here are some ideas to explore the wonder of the great jazz virtuoso, Thelonious Monk. You’ll find biography info, a movement activity to his fabulous piece, “Stuffy Turkey,” some links, and advanced movement options!

Continue reading “Spotlight Classroom Musician of the Week – Thelonious Monk”

Monkeys Spinning Monkeys

A bubbly, bouncy instrumental piece that is perfect for movement activities. This instrumental piece posted on Youtube in 2014 and became a TikTok sensation, reaching over 1 million plays in 2021.

 

Here you will find the piece analysis, links, and teaching ideas!

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay 


Links

Composer, Kevin MacLeod’s YouTube channel with a visual representation of the song very similar to Chrome Song Maker.

Examples of how Monkeys Spinning Monkeys has been used on TikTok.

Song Download Site & Info about the song with downloadable wav files and sheetmusic.

Teaching Ideas

I’ve outlined ideas for the A, B, and C sections for movement, drums, and parachutes. A great idea for exploration and creation is to let the students create the movement, drum part, or parachute moves.

  • Divide the class in thirds and put each in charge of one of the sections. Perform the piece with each group performing on their section(s).
  • You can teach the A and B section then let small groups come up with their ideas for the C section. Share each group’s idea. Perform the entire piece with the whole group performing the same A and B and then the C will sparkle with all of the unique ideas happening at once.
  • Extend the learning by going to Chrome Music Lab’s Song Maker and have students compose an A B A C A song.


If you use any of these ideas, please comment below and let me know!

It’s About Time

“What animal keeps the best time?

A WATCH dog!

Spotlight Artist: Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck was a jazz musician. He was born in California and died in 2012 at age 91. He loved experimenting with different time signatures such as 5/4, 6/4, and 9/8. He recorded Take 5 in 1959 and it became a jazz hit and a classic. Take 5 was written by Paul Desmond.

Take 5

A Mashup of Take Five and Beethoven’s Fur Elise

Fun With Fives

Try a few of these ideas!

Body Percussion
  1. Count to five repeatedly and clap on the numbers FOUR and FIVE. Add the music.
  2. Instead of clapping on the 4 and 5, what else could you do?
    • Get with a partner or small group, come up with a plan, and share with the class!
Movement
  1. Can we move on all five numbers? Let’s try some opposites.
    • Hands up on 1-2-3 and down on 4-5
    • Bend over on 1-2-3 and straighten on 4-5
    • Smile on 1-2-3 and frown on 4-5
    • Right arm up on 1-2-3 (then down) and left arm up on 4-5 (then down)
    • Challenge move: Sway one direction on 1-2-3 and then the opposite on 4-5.
  2. Parachute-whether you have a big parachute, mini parachutes, or scarves, create a move for the 1-2-3 and then another for the 4-5.
    • Parachute-up on 1-2-3 then while up, pull, shake, or beat of hands on 4-5. Repeat for down. So, “Up, two, three, pull, pull. Down, two, three, pull, pull.”
  3. Create movement for the A section and then the B section to perform the entire first section Intro and ABA. (see notes below)
Speech
  1. 3+2=5 Add a 3-syllable animal to a 2-syllable animal-“mockingbird + robin”
    • Play the TWO syllable game. The teacher says “An-i-mal” and each student (or with a partner) in rhythm has to say a two syllable animal. The teacher can point to random students or go in order. If you play it as an out game, students who are out could then be in charge of clapping on 4 and 5 or playing an instrument on 4 and 5.
    • Could you play using “Yum-my fruit” or “Stu-dent names”?
  2. Try the 3 + 2 activity with colors, food, plants, reptiles, etc.
Instruments
  1. Drums
    • Play on beats 4 and 5 trying out different drum techniques. (low, high, brush, knock, fist.
    • Put two together for the 1-2-3 + 4-5. Maybe brush for 1-2-3 and high for 4-5. Let students explore and then share with class.
    • Try playing just on the 1.
    • Try using the form ABA. The A section is the two styles on 1-2-3, 4-5 and the B section is just on the 1. Try it with the recording.
  2. Sticks-exactly the same idea as drums but partners could tap each other’s sticks on the 4 and 5 of the A section or beat 1 of the B section.

Spotlight Artist: Al Jarreau

Al Jarreau was a singer. He was born in Wisconsin and came from a very musical family. He sang jazz, pop, soul, and R & B music and won many Grammy awards. He died in 2017.

Singing-Take 5 Cover with lyrics.
Les Nuages is a band from Romania.

If you are adventurous, here are some lyrics I created to show students some possibilities. Sing along 😀 and try writing some of your own.

Lyric Template-Write a class version!

Teacher Notes

  1. The form (video above): Intro (drum solo then 8 measures of piano intro), ABA, sax improv, drum improv, at 4:20 a return to ABA, coda.
  2. Depending on your school situation, lots of additional opportunities are available if you use a variety of formations: rows and columns, circles
  3. Parachute activity-It’s always best to verbalize movements of this type. I’ve included what you might say.
Kahoot Questions
  1. Who performed the piece Take 5?
  2. What genre of music is Take 5?
  3. What is the time signature for Take 5?
  4. Identify the piano, saxophone, and drums.