Jedi Music

A Resource for the Beginning Elementary Music Teacher


Children's Literature for Music Ed: "We're Going on a Leaf Hunt"

Happy first day of fall!  While I'm personally not looking forward to raking all of the leaves that will soon be falling at my house, I don't mind an autumn-themed music lesson centered around a fun book for my early childhood students.  Patterned after "We're Going on a Bear Hunt", this book by Steve Metzger is a great introduction to the fall season for your youngest students. "We're Going on a Leaf Hunt" lends itself well to many musical extensions.

Do you have access to an Ellison die-cutter? If so, you can use it to cut out the various colored leaves you will need for this lesson.  If not, you can develop your own leaf pattern; I recommend using google image.

To prepare, cut out a set of each of these leaves for your students:
  • Maple: orange (Write the note name "A"on this one.)
  • Birch: yellow (Write the note name "G" on this one.)
  • Hickory: brown (Write the note name  "E" on this one.)
  • Red Oak: red (Write the "quarter rest sign" on this one.)

    (OK, tree lovers, I did a little online research to see if these are really the fall colors of these types of trees, and I admit they are not "exactly" accurate. In the interest of color recognition practice for my students, we can live with that, right? )

  • Scatter the class set of leaves on the floor of the classroom. There should be enough so that each student can pick up one of each color.

  • As students arrive, remind them not to pick up or move the leaves until the "leaf hunt" begins. Students begin the class in a standing position, scattered around the room.

  • Introduce the book and instruct students that they are to echo you on each sentence of the story.

  • Students will incorporate creative movements in each part of the story that describe actions, such as "climb/huff-puff", "step/squish", "slip-slide/splish-splash", and "row/plip-plop".

  • Students will pick up the leaf color of the trees as they are mentioned in the story.

  • There can be one picture of a skunk that you can hide somewhere in the room to show the students as you read that part of the story. Here is a simple skunk image to use:

  • After the reading of the story is finished, students will arrange their four leaves into a pattern of three notes and a quarter rest.

  • Students will take turns playing the four-beat patterns composed by the students on tone bells or xylophones.

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