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Upper Elementary Music Activities

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Ukulele on top of keyboard, with the text, "Upper elementary music activities"

Are you looking for music activities that work well for upper elementary? Hoping for activities for your lessons that will engage fourth, fifth, and sixth graders? Here are some of my favorites (and keep reading to download a free upper elementary music lesson!)

#1: Bim Bum

This song is super fun for upper elementary! It's great for tika-ti and fa, and helpful to just get kids singing and moving! Here is the notation and movement directions:

And here is a video I've used to teach the motions:

#2: Sevens

I just started using this activity this year, and my upper elementary students are loving it! Students can learn it slowly, then get faster and faster! Here is the video I've used to help teach it (by the same channel as “Bim Bum”):

#3: Poison

Poison is a fun game that my fourth and fifth graders have been loving (and it's a great way to review known concepts!) To play rhythm poison, students echo all the patterns you clap…except for the poison pattern! If you clap the poison pattern, they can make a cross with their arms to show you they know it's the poison pattern. If they do echo the poison pattern, they have to sit down.

To play melodic poison, instead of echo clapping, students can echo sing, or you can play a pattern on the recorder, and they have to sing it back (or not!)

To play, you can simply write the patterns on the board, or you could use sets like these:

#4: Centers

Centers can be a wonderful way to engage students, give them choice, and improve their learning. They can work especially well with upper elementary. For ideas on how to use centers, check out this post, about ukulele centers; the ideas can be adapted for rhythm, melody, and more!

#5: Creating music with technology

Upper elementary students LOVE to create music with technology. Here are some of my absolute favorite websites for having students create:

Looking for more fun activities for upper elementary? Download this free lesson, which includes a detailed lesson plan, visuals, and several songs that work well for upper elementary music!

I hope this is helpful as you write lessons for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade. Happy teaching!

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Hi, I'm Aileen

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