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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Children's Literature in Elementary Music Lessons

I love using books in my elementary music lessons, especially for younger students! It's amazing how much more engaged they are when there's a story, and they retain the concepts much better when it's tied to a book. I've shared lots of favorites on this blog, so today I thought I would round them up in one central place. Click on the picture to visit my blog post with complete lesson plans and information on where to get the books as well. I hope you find some new ideas to inspire your lessons!

Bear Snores On

We're Going on a Bear Hunt


Too Much Noise

Froggy Gets Dressed

Niko Draws a Feeling

Mole Music / Song of Middle C / The Really Awful Musicians

My Family Plays Music

Allie All Along

Snake Alley Band

Max Found Two Sticks


Nine-In-One, Grr! Grr!

Those are some of my favorite books to use in elementary music lessons. What are some of yours? I'd love to get some new ideas from you- let's hear them in the comments below! 

Looking for more lesson ideas to last all year? My full curriculum includes all the plans and materials you need for K-6 general music classes.

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  1. My favorites are I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swollowed a Cello, Giraffes Can't Dance, Brown Bear, and Five Little Monkeys!

    1. I LOVE Giraffes Can't Dance! My daughters were obsessed with Brown Bear and Five Little Monkeys when they were in Preschool- I think those would be at the top of my list if I got to teach Preschool music again :) Thanks for sharing! I'd love to hear what you do with those books in music class!

  2. Which of these would be good for a 5th grade music classroom? I’ve been teaching junior high band and have to teach 5th general music for the first time this year. I don’t feel terribly confident in my ability to pick books that aren’t too young for them.

    1. Honestly, I wouldn't use most of these with 5th grade. I've used "My Family Plays Music" with this age some, but most of them are too young for 5th grade. I would think instead about things like videogames, movies, etc as starting points rather than books. I have several very successful lessons that I do with video game music and movie music with this age- you can read about those, and some other successful units I've done with upper elementary, in this post:

  3. My students love Miss Mary Mack, and in non-COVID times we do hand clapping in a circle, which they love. I also love Rhythm Rescue, which is the story of a girl who uses rhythm as a superpower. Last year my students all made up rhythms and told me what superpower the rhythm gave them. I also just found a book called Wheels on the Tuk Tuk which is wonderful since I have a lot of South Asian families at my school. Thanks for the wonderful ideas here!

    1. I haven't heard of Wheels on the Tuk Tuk- gotta go check it out! Thanks so much for sharing these ideas, I love what you did with the other books too :)