As the end of the year comes to a close, I think it’s important to spend time with your fifth grade students (or your last year elementary students) doing some things to really finalize your time together. It shouldn’t be just instrument tryouts, prep for band or orchestra or voice placements for choir. We are their first music teachers. It’s a milestone year and it shouldn’t be anticlimactic.

Here’s three things that will really help cement all the wonderful things you did with them over the years. We are not here just to prep for ensembles.

1. Let them be creative

Let them really show what they know. Small composing projects, recording projects with no cap on they instrument they use – sing something, write something on an instrument we’ve used, create ostinatos.

Let them try mixing or use a computer app like Paint Composer or Incredibox.
Paper compose and then record.
Give them as much leeway as you want or give them parameters to compose with but let them pick the tools they use. If you let them pick, it will really let them express themselves and feel comfortable with the venue they chose.
Let them write lyrics or pick a poem to compose music

2. Foster Love

Music is love. We love music and want other people to love music. Give your kids someone that could be their PERSON. You know what I mean. The one that is the musician that gets you pumped. You love their stuff, listen on repeat and always come back to. Introduce them to some of those people.

Highlight people that you haven’t had a chance to talk about.
Let them pick a person they can present to the class or research.
Listen to your favorite, or someone new together.

Looking for good options? Check out my 32 Weeks of Listening on TpT. There are some great options in there.

3. Fan Favorites

Let them pick their favorites from the last 6 years.
Folk Dances
Competitive games like King of the Mountain
Singing Games (Watching 5th graders play Apple Tree is always amazing.)
Activities you’ve done with them that they LOVED.

Make a list, let them vote, chose their favorites and revisit some of those with them so they will always remember their last few weeks of music class with you.

I hope that these have given you some amazing ideas to end the year with your 5th graders.

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