Three Things {Grizzly Bear, Loud and Quiet, and a Picture Book}

27 September, 2015

Today, I’m returning to my "Three Things" linky party, in which I blog about three things that worked for my and my students this week. Thanks to Whimsy Workshop TeachingKimberly Geswein fonts, and Jax and Jake for the cute clip art and fonts!

Three things that worked in my music classroom: A singing game and two picture books!

#1: Grizzly Bear
My Kindergarteners have been preparing loud and quiet. One of my all-time favorite songs for this is "Grizzly Bear," which you can see below:

Grizzly Bear: A FUN singing game for loud and quiet! Blog post includes other activities for your music lessons!

The kids love the song, as it starts very quietly and gets louder and louder, until they shout, "Roar" at the end! For the game, I have students walk in a circle, counter-clockwise, until they repeat the first phrase. Then on "Please be very quiet," students stay still and put a finger to their lips. For "If you wake him, if you shake him..." students step louder and louder to the beat until they roar at the end! (I have them put their hands up like they are claws when they roar!) One child pretends to be a sleeping bear in the middle as all of the movement is going on, and then on "Roar," that kid stands up and tries to tag one student. I have one spot that is the safe zone (my white board).

The kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this game! And it's a very fun way to teach loud and quiet!

#2: Loud and Quiet lesson
Speaking of loud and quiet, I also presented loud and quiet this week to my Kindergartners. I love my presentation lesson, as it has so many great songs (like "Lucy Locket," "Grizzly Bear," and "Engine Engine") and it includes one of my favorite books, "Thump Thump Rat-a-tat-tat." It's also my first presentation lesson of the year for Kindergarten, which is exciting! You can find the lesson in the loud/quiet set below as well as a slightly different loud/quiet lesson in the Kindergarten lesson set below.


#3: "America the Beautiful" book

My fifth graders are preparing for their program, which will be based off the book "Wangari's Trees of Peace," which you can check out below.

Wangari's Trees of Peace: A beautiful picture book that can be used for a musical program. Includes link to a post with lots of ideas for your program!

Here is a blog post about the program, including which songs and dances I used. Many of the songs are Kenyan or are from other countries in Africa, but one of the songs is "America the Beautiful" (as Wangari leaves Kenya to attend school in America.) I used the picture book below to introduce the song to students:

America the Beautiful: A picture book for the song. Blog post includes other activities for your music lessons!

Of course, students have heard the song before, but I love using this picture book to teach the song, to discuss what the lyrics mean, and to discuss patriotic music in general. (If you're interested in reading another post about patriotic music, check out this great post by Tracy King from Mrs. King Rocks.)

It's sometimes difficult to find picture books that work with older grades, so this is a great one! After I sang the song and we discussed, I had students sing each phrase of the first verse with me.

Make sure to check out the things that worked for other music bloggers below! Happy teaching!


  1. Thanks for sharing your ideas! I was not familiar with Grizzly bear and will have to do it this year when I do my teddy bear picnic! Also I was not familiar with Jax and Jake clpart!

  2. I could never do indoor chase games with my kids--rooms were too small and I was blessed with a lot of Orff instruments!! We played it with the child in the middle hiding their eyes. At the end of the song (after the loud growl), one child would sing: 'Hey, Mr. Grizzly Bear!' The grizzly bear would wake up, stretch and try to guess who sang the phrase. I could do a quick solo singing check, work on individual vocal timbre as well as soft and loud. The kids LOVE this song!!

  3. Thanks for the shout out! I struggle to find books to use with the upper grades that will work in the limited time frame I have and yet not be too babyish. (They are so picky in 5th and 6th grades!) I'd love to learn about other other books you use with older grades too.

  4. What songs did you use with Wangari's Trees of Peace?

  5. I'd love to hear more about the concert music that you did with the Wangari book!

    1. Thank you! I will make a note to blog about that soon. :)


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