February FUN! - Lunar New Year ~ Valentine's Day ~ Black History Month

It's tough to decide what to focus on in February!  Whether you want to celebrate Lunar New Year, Valentine's Day or Black History Month --- or ALL of them, MusicplayOnline has units, songs in the song list and listening activities for you.

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year started Jan. 22, but it's not too late to do a fun lesson on the Chinese Zodiac
UNITS - Lunar New Year 

The Chinese Zodiac

Look up your year! 

Chinese Zodiac years and animals

Teach a song with animal effects - play the effects on instruments or have fun with vocal effects.

Animals of the Zodiac song

Create a B Section with word rhythms - Easy

Word rhythm composition interactive

Create a B section with all the animals

Word rhythm composition hard

Create a B Section with sound effects

Sound word rhythm interactive

There are worksheets, printable manipulatives, solfa/note name practice, piano accompaniment - great lesson!

Valentine's Day

Rig-a-Jig Jig - A fun song about friends! 

Rig a jig jig notation

Valentine's is a good time to talk about friendship in class and encourage the students to be friendly with all!

The clap game has a kids demo.  The students in the class form a circle (or two circles). 

children demoing the song game

The class sings the verse softly while the first student walks slowly around the circle looking for a partner. The first student chooses a partner after the words "a friend of mine I chanced to meet." The singing becomes louder as the two students skip around the outside of the circle. At the next verse, they both walk alone and both choose new partners. Continue until all students in the class are chosen. 

There are too many Valentine favorites to describe them all. Search "Valentine" for all the related songs, units and activitiesl. A few more of my favorites include:

  • in PreK, but can use for PK, K, 1 - "I like Valentines."
    • This is a simple echo song, so easy to teach in 1 lesson.
  • in K, but can use for PK, K, 1 - Another "I Like Valentines"
    • dynamic contrast, so good loud/quiet practice
  • in Gr. 1 - "I Like You"
    • this has Valentine word option OR friend word option.  Always a favorite, with many rhythm reading extensions include word rhythm composition, 1 or 2 sounds, and matching worksheet/manipulatives
  • in Gr. 2 - "I Sent a Valentine"
    • fun chase game that kids love.
  • in Gr. 2 but use with 2-5 - "Tony Chestnut"
    • Great tempo teaching song and FUN!!!
  • in Gr. 3 - "Love Somebody"
    • great song for working on 16th note rhythms.  I play this as a chase game.  FUN!!!
    • Love Somebody has many beat/rhythm extensions including sounds on a beat (to label 16ths), Rhythm Sort and Rhythm Erase.
  • In Gr. 4 - lovely traditional round, "Make New Friends"
  • In JJ Songs for a Brighter World - Friends Forever, and Sing-A-Long are great friendship songs for upper elementary
  • UNITS - Valentine's Day - has many great activities - What Makes a Good Friend and Valentine themed Recorder Mad Minutes and interactive

Black History Month

African American Singing Games and African Songs from Our Musical World.

List of singing games

Choral Music - Hymn to Freedom by Oscar Peterson is an amazing and uplifting song by a Canadian Jazz icon!

A longer lesson on Oscar Peterson can be found in Lesson 16 - January Week 1 - Middle School

List of choral selections

Read a 2009 article in NAfME journal about spirituals.


List of spirituals

NEW - John Jacobson Biopic on Scott Joplin

Scott Joplin biopic

John Jacobson song - Maple Leaf Rag
The lyrics teach about Scott Joplin - set to the Maple Leaf Rag

Maple leaf rag lyrics

John Jacobson choreography for Maple Leaf Rag

Maple Leaf Rag choreography


Earn PD and watch our webinar on Lunar New Year, Valentine's Day and Black History Month for FREE
on Musicplay Workshops!

Having Fun in the Music Classroom in February Cover


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