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Today I’m linking up with other music education bloggers to share our favorite fall music lessons. Scroll to the bottom of this post to learn how to join the linky party.

For those of you who are trying to avoid Halloween-specific themes (and I know some of you are), The Leather-Winged Bat is a great compromise. The melody is haunting without specifically mentioning witches or jack-a-lanterns. It also provides tons of potential for listening activities.

Additional Verses
2. “Hi,” said the woodpecker, sittin’ on a fence,
“Once I courted a handsome finch.
She got sulky and from me fled,
Ever since then my head’s been red.”
3. “Hi,” said the little mourning dove,
“I’ll tell you how to regain your love.
Court her by night court her by day.
Never give her time to say, “O Nay!”
4. “Hi,” said the bluejay as she flew,
“If I were young, then I’d have two,
If one got saucy and wanted to go,
I’d have a new string for my bow.”
5. “Hi,” said the owl with eyes so big,
“If I had a hen, I’d feed her like a pig,
But here I sit on a frozen lake,
Which causes my poor heart to break.”
The lesson template below (which you can download for free) is meant to be used as a guide for writing your own lesson plan using The Leather-Winged Bat. You can use the excess space at the bottom of the page to sketch out activity ideas or jot down notes on what you’d like to include in your own lesson plan. You may notice that today’s lesson template varies quite a bit from the ones I’ve shared in recent weeks, in that I’m not focusing on one specific grade level or concept. I feel that this song can be studied across multiple grade levels with just a few modifications.

I’ve provided ViewPure links for each video at the bottom of this post. ViewPure works in the same way as Safeshare, making Youtube videos safe to show to your classes. You can read more about it >here<.

The video of Judy Collins with The Muppets is a fantastic choice to discuss call and response with 1st and/or 2nd grade.

It’s important that students know beforehand what they should be listening for, be it dynamics, tempo, or form. That way, your question of, “what did you hear?” won’t be followed with blank stares and silence. You can download free listening worksheets >here<, which include a variety of formats for different skill levels.


The following two videos could be shown to your 2nd or 3rd graders for a lesson on compare and contrast. Ask students to pay close attention to the tempo and timbre. These videos are also a great excuse to discuss two important figures in music, Pete Seeger and Burl Ives.

The following would be a great video to pair with another for a lesson on musical interpretation. I think this video is appropriate for any age level, but 2nd and 3rd grade especially would benefit from a viewing and discussion on the expressive intent of the performer. Ask students to listen carefully to tempo as a means of expression in this performance.

I don’t have any specific activities to share for the following videos, but I felt that they too have great potential for listening activities. The Peter, Paul, and Mary version is my personal favorite.


ViewPure Links
Judy Collins and The Muppets
Pete Seeger
Peggy Seeger
Peter, Paul, and Mary
Burl Ives
The Duhks
Mandy Brown

As always, I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on my ideas. Do you foresee a listening lesson in your future? If so, tell me all about it in the comments section! Also, if you’re blogger, feel free to link up with one of your own favorite fall music lessons!