KS1 Music: Halloween themed classroom lesson plan

Try this Halloween themed music activity for Key Stage One pupils

The lesson plan covers exploring sounds, performing and singing.

Instruments are not required but could be used in some elements if wanted.

The activity is suitable for vision, motor, hearing and cognitive impairments with minor adaptation.

Curriculum notes

Relevant for teaching at Key Stage 1 (KS1) in England, Foundation Stage in Wales, Foundation and Key Stage 1 in Northern Ireland and First Level in Scotland.

Get your class involved in describing sounds

Warm up activity - 10 minutes

This is a great teamwork game which also gets children to use their imaginations.

To play the game you need to split your class into groups with around six children in each.

The teacher starts the game by saying "In the haunted house there is..." and fills in the gap with something they imagine might be in a haunted house, for example: an old table, a big clock, a giant cobweb etc.

The children then have 30 seconds to work as a team and create a representation of that object using their bodies.

Once the time is up, the children must freeze and the teacher awards a point to the best team.

Extension: Have a class discussion about the things you might find in a haunted house, and use these suggestions made by the children in the game.

Main activity: Spooky Soundscape

The aim of this activity is to get your children to experiment using their voices, bodies, everyday objects and/or musical instruments to create their own spooky sounds.

If you have instruments available, distribute them to your class, one instrument per person.

If you don’t have instruments, you can do this exercise using everyday objects, junk materials (for example a piece of screwed up paper or a drinks carton) and/or sounds using the body/voice or any mix of these.

Once every child has an instrument (or whatever they are using to make a sound), ask them to come up with three different ways of playing it to create three different sounds.

If they are using a musical instrument, challenge them to create unusual ways of playing that instrument. For example with a djembe drum, you could hit it with an open palm, scrape it using your finger tips or tap the side.

Allow the children plenty of time to experiment and share some of their creations.

Focus on sound

Now ask the children to choose just one of the sounds they created and write down three words to describe that sound.

The words ought to be focused on how the sound is made, the quality of the sound (timbre) or what the sound is trying to represent.

For example: whoosh, scrape, wind.

Give each child a small piece of paper (about a quarter of an A4 sheet) and ask them to draw an image that represents this sound they have made. If you could draw this sound, what would it look like?

Encourage the children to use the descriptive words they wrote down for guidance.

Split the class into small groups of six children or fewer in each. Challenge the groups to put their drawings in an order and then practice playing their sounds following this structure.

Each child in the group is responsible for playing their drawing only. It is important that all the drawings are visible so everybody in the group can follow the structure.

Extension: Initially, groups may put their drawings in an order, one after the other (A-B-C-D-E). However, you can encourage them to try putting some drawings together so those sounds are played at the same time (A-BC-D-E). Finally, get each group to perform their new spooky soundscapes.

Troubleshooting

When playing Haunted House, once the children have got the hang of the game, you may want to reduce the time limit.

Also, if needed, give the children some time to have a discussion in groups about how they can best work as a team in this game.

Further activities

Try using the educational tool Play It! to demonstrate and involve the class in music.

Use the specially composed Halloween song Spooky World.

Download colouring sheets for pupils to use for Halloween songs and others.

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