Music and movement lesson plans
In Advance: On a rainy day, draw children's attention to the weather. Look through the window together. Ask questions such as, "What is happening outside today? What is making the puddles?" Then put on your coats, hats, and boots, grab your umbrellas, and go for a short rainy day walk. Help children notice the rain and the wind: "Look how slowly the rain is falling to the ground." "How does it feel when it touches your face?" "What is making those leaves move on that bush?" Together, look at rain fall onto leaves, the grass, and into puddles.
1. Talk about your rainy day experience. Then, go outdoors and ask children if they can move like raindrops. Can they drip-drop into puddles? Can they drop onto leaves? How would a raindrop move in the wind?
2. Recite this poem as you move:
All the rain is falling down,
Falling, falling to the ground,
The wind goes swish right through the air,
And blows the rain 'round everywhere.
3. Play instrumental music that changes tempo often, fast to slow and back again. Tell the children they're going to pretend to be raindrops falling to the ground. Dance together moving their bodies to the music-move slowly when the music is slow, faster as the tempo picks up. When the music stops, they can all fall down into puddles! (You may need to stop the music occasionally to regroup.)
4. Next, give children scarves. Have fun holding the scarves and moving to the music. Try tying the scarves to children's clothing or wrists. Then continue your rain dance with added drama!
Remember: Dance with children and share your enthusiasm. Choose a variety of types of music. Refrain from telling children how to move; just set a mood and allow them to be creative.
For younger children: Encourage children to move in a well-defined area in your outdoor play space. This will help to keep them safe and refrain from getting "carried away with the music" and bumping into other children or playground equipment.
For older children: Play a variety of music with varying tempos. Talk with children about how the different types of music makes them feel. Then, give children the opportunity to demonstrate these feelings by moving independently or in small groups.
Divide children into two groups. Provide rhythm band instruments for one group and scarves for the other. Go outdoors and invite children to play the instruments while the group of children with scarves dances to their original tunes.