Easy Halloween Lesson Ideas!

Are you planning Halloween-themed lessons for your music class this month? Texas teacher Tammy Thiele uses “Skin and Bones” to unpack melodic and rhythmic concepts!Take it away, Tammy!***

Hello Quaver teachers! My name is Tammy Thiele. I am the Music Specialist at Jackie Mae Townsell Elementary in Irving, TX. A veteran QuaverMusic teacher, I’m also a member of the Quaver Advisory Council and a Curriculum Contributor.

My 4th and 5th graders are loving Quaver’s Halloween songs! If you’re looking for a Halloween activity this month, look no further! Let’s dive in to “Skin and Bones.” This is one of my students’ most requested songs!
There’s a wonderful Song-Based Lesson around “Skin and Bones” in 2nd grade. Activities are also accessible from ClassPlay or Resource Manager. 

Let’s start in ClassPlay!

Search “Skin and Bones” in the main search field or the Folk/Cultural category. Let’s take a look at the Song Hub:

You’ll find the Song Hub contains a Solfège/Rhythm reading activity. This incorporates 6/8 meter, low la, and dotted quarter notes.  Orff part work is also incorporated in the Arrangement and Learn The Parts activities. These are great resources for extending your lessons!You could fill a whole lesson–or two–with these activities! To take things a step further this year, I relied on the Full Score.

Full Score Activity Ideas: 

  • Look at the Full Score of the song. Ask students if any pitches look familiar.
  • Pull out your recorders and click Vocal  then select Solo to isolate this part. You will see that the melody contains the pitch F.

Perhaps your students aren’t ready for that yet. Great news! You have options!

  • Click on Key at the bottom of the Full Score screen.
  • Change the key to Em and Boom-Chicka-Boom! You now have a melody suitable for 4th and 5th graders on pitches B-A-G-E.
  • Have students analyze the intervallic relationship of these pitches. Can they discover that the resting tone of the song is low la?
  • You could also focus on the rhythm of “Skin and Bones.” A 6/8 meter is a great backdrop for highlighting dotted quarter notes. What a wonderful math lesson!

You can even use the Orff arrangement with your recorders in the new key!

  • Have students learn the recorder part.
  • Then, click All Parts and select Show All Parts and teach the Orff parts from there.
  • If you prefer to teach the parts using graphic notation or body percussion, you can!
  • To do this, use the Arrangement or the Learn the Parts activity.
  • Then, you can return to the Full Score. Students can follow the notation for their Orff and recorder parts.

There’s a world of things yet to discover in Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music!

Have fun with this song! And have a Boom-Chicka-Awesome Halloween!