Elementary Music with Donna
4 Halloween Songs
Pumpkins are ripe and ready to be turned into Jack-o'-lanterns. Costumes are being prepared for Halloween trick or treating excursions.
Music activities that reflect these October activities are filled with opportunities for expressive singing and dramatizations, discussion about costumes, and some fun singing games that spark the imagination of young singers.
I have four favourite songs that I regularly use in my music classroom at this time of year.
Get the PDF of the music and the instructions for the singing games/activities I have used over the years. Where possible, I've also included some adaptations to reflect the restrictions on singing and movement that some music teachers are experiencing in their teaching environments.
Happy October! Happy Halloween! Happy music making!
Pumpkin, Pumpkin is a Halloween song that allows young children to use their imaginations and a sense of fun as they use "music magic" to become Jack-o'-lanterns. Use this opportunity to explore creative facial expression and also to listen carefully to instructions. Donna Rhodenizer uses this song with her preprimary and younger elementary students sitting in stationary spots, so this activity works in restricted music class settings. Chanting or whispering can also be substituted for singing, if singing is a restricted activity.
Five Little Pumpkins
Five Little Pumpkins is a great song for encouraging expressiveness - whether singing, chanting or just doing the dramatization. Donna found some real pumpkins at a local farm to share this song.
Ghost of John
Ghost of John has been around since I was in elementary school many years ago! I have suggestions for lots of great ostinato and soundscape options to challenge upper elementary students in music class. Even with social distancing and other restrictions, there are lots of things that can be done with this classic song. Chant the song if singing is not an option. Whispering it can be very dramatic. By the way, rumour has it that the song is really about a skeleton, NOT a ghost. Listen to the words and see what you think!
The Goblin in the Dark
The Goblin in the Dark is a song about costumes and it can be used as a Halloween singing game or adapted to use at any time of the year. Young children can use their imaginations and a sense of fun as they pretend to get dressed up and go to a costume party. Chanting or whispering can also be substituted for singing if singing is a restricted activity. Great for lower elementary students.