9 Thanksgiving Music Lesson Ideas

January 21, 2021



[Photo by Keilidh Ewan on Unsplash]

Thanksgiving is around the corner. It’s that time of year again. It’s a favorite holiday for my family, so I’m looking forward to it. If you’re a music educator, you probably have a few, even three days off from school. Lucky you!

But in the few weeks that you have leading up to the holiday, I wondered if any music educators needed some fresh ideas for thanksgiving-themed room or music lesson ideas. Now, I don’t have the qualifications for knowing the right music lessons to use, but there are some great blogs out there that have fun, new ideas for you if your well is running dry. Here are a few of my favorites:

Mrs. Miracle’s Native American Songs

Elizabeth Caldwell’s Five Little Turkeys

Thanksgiving Songs for Preschool Students

Paul K. Fox’s Affirmations for New Teachers and What To Be Thankful For

What I can comment on are the thanksgiving-themed room ideas. I’ve worked with three and four year olds all the way up to high school kids, and majority love a fun, decorated room. Even my high school students would be so excited for our holiday themed games and decorations. Even if you don’t teach younger kids, older kids will enjoy it too, even if it’s secretly. Here are a few of my own ideas for themed decorations.

  • Native American Themed: Teepees, Thanksgiving food, wilderness decorations along the walls, and headdresses of chiefs to show. Turn it into a historical lesson, giving the full picture to remember an important, but often forgotten part of America. 
  • Turkey-Themed: Big cutout turkeys along the wall with areas of concentration/various lesson plans you’ll cover that month. You could add feathers to each turkey as classes learn new objectives, giving you a full picture by the end of November. 
  • Macy’s Parade Themed: If you live for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade then tap into it! Ask students to pick their favorite float or design a float of their own. You could even assign a musical number that goes with that float to increase their attentiveness for music. For instance, the Charlie Brown balloon could have the special Charlie Brown stage dance music attached to it. Pillsbury Dough or Power Rangers could have fun and easy themes with those floats as well. 
  • Food Themed: Put up the typical pictures of Thanksgiving food. BUT to add the music education touch, have them write a song about their favorite food. It could be as easy as writing three line lyrics to attaching a rhythm and/or composition.  
  • Thankfulness Themed: It’s a common one and the most easiest to pull off by decorating with words that describe what we are thankful for. However, to put a new spin on it, you could have students exchange with another person their “thankful word” and have them write a song for their classmate. It’s engaging and you gain a new perspective. 

Whatever you do, I know that you’ll enjoy the holiday break. I hope that it’s restful and a time of renewed hope for you this holiday season. We appreciate music educators and recognize the importance you have in this world. 

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