I LOVE this little song. I have always loved how isolated do is at the end and have used it as kinesthetic preparation for that melodic concept. However, last year I took inspiration from Tanya LeJeune to add some new movement to it. This new movement really helped my second graders be able to sing it as a round. Granted, we didn't do it as a four-part round, but they did get up to three parts (first year in a new school, I thought that was pretty good!)
Here's the song:
These are the leaves I use:
I found them at King Soopers (our local Kroger store) a couple years ago. They are so realistic looking but surprisingly durable for the $1.00 that I paid for them! They are fabric and we use them in kindergarten and first grade for Down Down, Yellow and Brown so they've been prepped in "leaf etiquette". :)
Formation: standing circle, leaves on the ground in the middle of the circle and every student holding a leaf or two in each hand with arms raised and hands above their heads.
- "Little leaves are falling": with one hand, in a conducting like pattern, have the leaf (or leaves) in that hand float to your side, still holding onto the leaf.
- "Falling everywhere": with the other hand, do the same movement as the first phrase.
- "Making all the tall trees": slowly raise arms up high above head, still holding onto the leaves.
- "Look so very bare": students either float their leaves to the ground, still holding onto them, or they can let them freely drop with their "branches" (a.k.a. their arms) still above their heads.
- The first way is a great physical prep for do: they actually touch the ground on the last and lowest note of the song.
- The latter is a lot of fun visually as it looks like leaves falling from the tree, but if not prepped right can be a classroom management nightmare with students diving for leaves.
- Once your students have mastered this, try it as a round! :)
Another thing we do with this song is use the leaves on my felt staff board. They are able to write out the so so so la so mi & so so so la so patterns on the staff, using the leaves for note heads. Visually, we are also able to talk about the mystery note: that it is lower them mi. Using the leaves, we show that one of the critical attributes of the mystery note is that it is a skip lower then mi.
Happy leaf singing!