Sometimes being an elementary music teacher is hard. Around the Holiday’s it’s easy to get bored with the same song over and over. I mean, how many years can you teach Jingle Bells in a row before you want to run screaming for the parking lot? The thing that we always have to remind ourselves is that children love these songs and if we don’t teach them, they might not learn them! Here’s the time when we put aside our needs and “do it for the kids.” I’m telling you, the kids will love this. Especially your Kindergarten and First Graders. Seeing them having a great time, singing, passing on the beat, and identifying AB form, well, that makes it all worth it.
Jingle Bells Passing Game:
I am assuming your students know the song “Jingle Bells.” If they don’t teach them that first.
Materials: Jingle Bells! You can make this work with anywhere from one little jingle bell instrument or a class set. I often start with one and will increase the number of bells as the children get better at passing on the beat.
1. Have the students sit in a circle.
2. Pass one jingle bell around the circle. (tap, pass) without keeping a beat. The goal is to get the bell around the circle as fast and safely as they can.
3. When the bell gets back to you try passing the bell around the circle saying a chant, “tick-tock-like a- clock” (ta, ta, ti-ti-ta). Allow the students to pass with the beat. Once they can get the bell around the circle with the beat you can move on. Do not let them move on until they can complete this task.
4. Sing Jingle Bells while passing the bell around the circle (sing the verse, “dashing through the snow….”). When it gets to the chorus, the student who has the bell stops passing and jingles the bell while everyone sings. Repeat a few times until students start understanding the game.
5. Now for some fun, add another bell at the other side of the circle. For this round there are two bells being passed around the circle. Remind the students to look for the bells that might be coming their way. Tap, pass in the verse, students who have the bell at the chorus are allowed to jingle!
6. The little ones love it now, start adding more and more bells (I do, 4, 6, 8, 10, then I allow each student to have a bell. They all “tap, pass” while singing the verse, and shake in the chorus.
Have you done this before? Did you students love it? If you haven’t done this before, give it a try. Even second graders might like this!