Music class in December: Probably the most wonderful time of the year! There are so many songs that my students are begging me to sing! (Who can say no when a student literally begs you to sing a song?)
Even though I'm Jewish, I love singing Christmas songs with my students... and I consider myself fortunate that I teach in a school where it's acceptable to mention religious holidays. With my primary students, I am reading at least one book with them for every music class until the winter break. (And since school goes until December 23rd for us, I have plenty more classes to teach!)
I love illustrated song books like these because there are many different ways I can use them....
- Read the story in a regular speaking voice
This is especially helpful when your voice is tired after a concert or sing-along!
- Sing the song to your students while they listen and look at the pictures
This is a great way to introduce a new song, have quiet listening time, or just model good singing for your students.
- Read and sing along to a recording of the song
I love using Bing Crosby and other famous "oldies" this time of year
- Have the students sing it alone or in groups
I particularly like Silent Night because of the lyrics. This book does not use the traditional hymn text. Instead, the lyrics are all about animals and nature, making this book a great option in a school setting where religious songs are not an option.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town and 12 Days of Christmas have very detailed illustrations that are great for discussion starters and playing a quick round of I-spy.
I always like to include songs in Spanish since my schools have a high population of native Spanish-speaking students. The bold colors and vibrant colors in Feliz Navidad are very appealing and my students want to read it again and again!
The illustrations in this version of Frosty the Snowman are different from the animated movie, which is what I like most about it. It's nice to show kids contrasting versions of a familiar story. Also, this book gets an A+ for including the "thumpety thump thump" verse at the end!
What other books do you enjoy reading to your students around the holidays?