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Music Theory With a Snow Ball Fight

We’re right in the middle of preparing songs and dances for the upcoming Holiday performance next week. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s easy to focus only on the songs and stress out over the readiness of each selection. There are many ways to disguise learning during the Holiday season – even in the middle of preparing for the upcoming concert. Here’s a sneak peek into our festive activities during the month of December including  how we learned Music Theory with a Snow Ball Fight!

Holiday  Music METERS

As we listened to Holiday songs, we …

  • Marched to the music from the “Nutcracker Suite” (We actually had a larger unit of study earlier this month)
  • Played hand drums along with “The Little Drummer Boy”
  • Used scarves to swing (triple meter) during the “A” section of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and tiptoed during the “B” section – making note of the larger pulse and the smaller pulse
  • Colored paper Ice Skates as we listened to “Winter Wonderland”
  • Skated on the paper skates as we moved to the larger pulse of “Winter Wonderland”
  • Compared the feel of the “Nutcracker March” and “Winter Wonderland” – both in duple meter

Holiday Musical FORM

As we listened to holiday songs, we ..

  • Skipped during the “A” section of “Jingle Bells” and froze during the “B” section
  • Played rhythm instruments assigned to different sections of songs
  • Used EduCreations on our iPads to illustrate visual patterns to go with holiday songs
  • Discovered that many holiday songs are written in either the ABAB or ABAA form.
  • Learned that another way to describe song form is “Chorus and Verse”

Music Theory With a Snow Ball Fight

It all started with the ice skates that became crumpled trash that became snow balls! This week, we’ve been illustrating what we’ve learned about musical FORM by having a snow ball fight …..and what a fun time we’ve had!!  In order to pass the test to have the snow ball fight, boys and girls had to correctly demonstrate moving to the “A” sections and stopping for the “B” sections.  We built a wall with the music crates….. excitement filled the air!! I poured out tubs of paper snow balls but told them that they could not throw the first snow ball until they heard the words to “Jingle Bells.”  The boys and girls were beside themselves in anticipation!


And then it began!

The video below will give a feel for some of the fun we’ve had during all of this..

Yes, we’ve been practicing for our upcoming program, but in the middle of all that… we’ve been making a musical memory that will last long after the snow melts!


Teaching music is SNOW much fun!!

Cherie Web signature 11



Music Theory with a Snow Ball Fight

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Cherie Herring

Music/Technology Integration at Hammond School
I teach elementary music, am passionate about integrating technology into my teaching, am obsessed with my SMARTBoard and iPad, and enjoy creating lessons and sharing ideas. I love technology almost as much as I love cheesecake, and with more energy and ideas than I know what to do with, I can't wait for the sun to come up each morning! I'm wife to Prince Charming and mom to three incredible girls who keep me balanced. . . sort of!

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Tracy Kietzer December 13, 2012, 7:21 PM

    That WAS “snow” amazing. Thanks for sharing. I think my students would do ANYTHING to get to a snowball fight! How fun!

  • Kelly Schenbeck Riley December 13, 2012, 7:43 PM

    I LOVE these ideas! The paper ice skates and the snowball fight look like a blast, and your kiddos really understand the concepts! (Almost makes me wish I had more than just 3 days before winter break… almost.) Thanks for sharing!


  • Bee December 14, 2012, 4:07 PM

    What a wonderful idea!! I’m going to do this next week with my kiddies. They’ll love it! Thanks!

  • sara December 11, 2015, 3:06 PM

    Can you share the smart board portion for form?

    • Cherie Herring December 13, 2015, 2:16 AM

      Hi Sara,
      I”ve attached a link to download the SMARTNotebook file that I use for these activities. Download it here. I have been using “Sleigh Ride” with my students this year instead of “Jingle Bells” because it has a more interesting form. This kids love it. I hope you can use this activity this week. Let me know if you need anything else. I’m happy to share. – Cherie

  • redavis521 December 9, 2017, 8:25 AM

    This looks like so much fun! How did you get it all cleaned up afterwards?

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