The Best Children’s Literature for the Music Classroom

Elementary music lessons based on books.
Elementary music lessons based on books.

A growing compilation of great books and musical connections that work with them!

Books Reviewed + music connection ideas

The Year We Learned to Fly

“Fly Away” is a companion resource to “The Year We Learned to Fly.”

Change Sings

“The Change Is You” and “Change the World With Kindness” are companion resources to “Change Sings” by Amanda Gorman.

Ohana Means Family

A great book about Hawaiian culture to use with multiple grade levels! K-2 can use movement and un-pitched percussion and grades 3-5 can use movement and barred instruments!

A song that would complement the learning in the book.

This old chant was set to music by Winona Beamer. The kahuli (tree snails) or pūpū kanioe (land shells) are the singing snails of legend.  Winona Beamer was a champion of authentic and ancient Hawaiian culture, publishing many books, musical scores, as well as audio and video recordings on the subject.

In My Heart

Sun Wishes

Just Help by Sonia Sotomayor

Next books to be added:

  • Wutaryoo
  • The Earth Gives More
  • Holi Hai

Each new book addition will be announced in the Oodles Newsletter

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If you have a book you’d like for me to include, please comment below.

A My Name is Alice – Popular Books, Activities, and Music

Blank Booklets to Create Your Own Verses

This TpT resource includes

  • a presentation with mp3s to learn the song
  • a simple Orff arrangement for xylophone, glockenspiel, and guiro
  • a booklet template for students to create their own verses
Lyric Writing Booklet for A My Name Is Alice Jump Rope Chant and Song

A My Name is ALICE

A, My Name is Alice by Jane E. Bayer, illustrated by Steven Kellogg. Kellogg is one of my favorite illustrators with his content-rich drawings and humor.

First verse: A, my name is Alice, and my husband’s name is Alex…

A My Name Is …

A My Name Is … by Alice Lyne, illustrated by Lynne Cravath. This version doesn’t always begin each verse with a girl’s name and replaces “husband” with “best friend.”

First verse: A my name is Alex, my best friend’s name is Angie…
Second verse: B my name is Becca, my best friend’s name is Billy…

Amanda Gorman Music Resources and Ideas

Music Resources & Ideas for the works of Amanda Gorman.

Change Sings

With her poetry of words, Amanda Gorman’s “Change Sings” uses a story full of music vocabulary to invite children to be the change in the world with acts of kindness. Here are songs that fit into that theme.

The Change Is You

Amanda Gorman’s book, “Change Sings”, inspired this new 3-part round song that uses an African proverb to begin the journey of a call to action to be the change in the world.

Change the World, With Kindness

Written for younger singers, this song reinforces the act of kindness themes in Amanda Gorman’s book, “Change Sings.” With lots of repetition and sequencing, this easy-to-learn song is a perfect concert selection. The resource includes suggested movements and opportunities to create your own movement.

I Dream A World by Andre Thomas

This gorgeous melody set to Langston Hughes’ words is in 2-parts which could easily be adapted to a single melody line. In “Change Sings” Gorman writes, “I scream with the skies of red and blue streamers. I dream with the cries of tried-and-true dreamers.” Hughes writes, “”I dream a world where man, no other man will scorn. Where love will bless the earth and peace its paths adorn.”

I’ll Make the Difference by Moses Hogan

The Dream Keeper by Rollo Dilworth

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!

Perfect for teaching half notes, low la, and minor tonality, the teaching process includes Orff and Kodaly approaches along with recorder and movement sections.

The One-Beat Diner for Remarkable Rhythms


The One-Beat Diner is a 2-page resource that features a menu full of one-beat yummy foods that can be turned into a delicious 4-beat take-out order. Page 1 is a place to create your one-beat foods and page 2 is where you put them into 4-beat patterns.

How about the #1 special with


Diner 1-Beat Food

What other foods do you want at YOUR diner?

Over The River & Through the Wood With Boomwhackers & Ukuleles

This resource of the Thanksgiving classic, Over the River and Through the Wood, includes parts for Boomwhackers, bells, and ukulele. Each part has audio and video files to support student learning AND in two different tempos-lento and adagio. Students learn about beats per minute (bpm) as they play their parts.

Play and learn in class or use it as a wonderful performance piece for winter concerts!

Music objectives include:

  • 6/8 meter and common rhythms
  • tempo markings
  • treble clef notation for melody
  • ukulele chords C, D7, F, and G7
  • classic American song repertoire
  • ensemble playing

Sound/Video File Example

“One Piece of Pie” Round with Six Integrated Lessons

There are EIGHT unique sound files to support student learning!

  • melody lines
  • accompaniments
  • Orff parts
  • beat keeping for rhythmic practice
  • vocal lines for solfege highlighting low so
    • sms
    • sls
  • listen in “round” form
Sound file for song
An arrangement featuring the round melody with xylophones and glockenspiel.

See and Hear What’s In This Resource

America the Beautiful

One of the top ten songs EVERY child should learn to sing.


Included on this page-

Lyrics-Ukulele music-Performance options-TpT Link to an America the beautiful presentation-Free coloring page download, Great video examples of the song

Besides singing in the classroom or at a school community meeting, when have YOU had your students perform America the Beautiful?

(Leave your answers in the comments. Here are mine.)
  • Veterans Day
  • Presidents Day
  • Sporting Events
  • Peace Walks
  • Spring & Winter Programs
  • Earth Day
  • Women’s History Month
  • Memorial Day
  • Fourth of July

For ukulele (C, C7, D7, F, and G)

TpT is having trouble uploading video previews right now, so I’ll post the video here so you can see what’s in my product! ☺️

Teachers Pay Teacher Presentation in both Powerpoint and Google slide formats

Coloring Sheet Free Download

Patriotic tribute by two sisters

Virtual Orchestra and Choir Collaboration

Ray Charles