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Winter seems to go on forever in my music classroom, especially in my kindergarten and first grade classes. The kids are still excited from Christmas and have lots of energy from being cooped up inside all day. To get them moving and engaged, I love to play this singing game with them in the winter! Little Snowflakes is a fun singing game that is perfect for practicing musical contour, steady beat, and quarter and eighth-note rhythms! Although this is a great song for the winter time, we play it all year by substituting the word snowflakes for feathers or raindrops! My students love this song from kindergarten to first grade and they love playing the game.
My students always have a blast playing this game. We start by singing the song in a circle, with one student walking around with a “snowflake.” I use a feather, scarf or crumpled up piece of paper. The student holds the snowflake above the heads of the sitting students. When the song ends, the student under the snowflake is out and takes on the role of the person walking around the circle. It’s a simple, but fun game!
My students enjoy this variation even more – we all walk around the the steady beat and sing the song, with one student holding the “snowflakes.” At the end of the song, everyone else freezes and the student with the snowflakes throws them in the air. If one touches you, you’re out. The last person standing wins! I usually let the students who are out join the person throwing the snowflakes or play an unpitched percussion instrument to the beat. Another great thing about this game is that it doesn’t take too long to play, so it is easy to keep the younger student’s attention.
Teaching the Song
To teach the song, I start by echo singing a line at a time. I show the contour on my body while I sing – sol on my head, mi on my shoulders, re on my knees, and do on my toes. Once the students can sing it, I take a scarf out to show them the “wintery air.” I ask them which way the melody blows for each line and mirror it with my scarf. To extend the lesson further, you could also give the students scarves to trace the contour with. Then, I ask them to tap the snowflakes to the beat to prepare them for walking to the beat in a second for our game!
If you are interested, I have a lesson pack that includes all of the visuals you need to teach the winter singing game, and a worksheet for students to compose the rhythms.
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