Perhaps I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, but I really want to help you be prepared for the week after Thanksgiving break. For those who’ve already celebrated Thanksgiving (*waves to Canadian neighbors*) or those who are gearing up for holiday breaks, I’d love to share some ideas with you to make the following weeks a bit easier.

Today’s lesson idea centers around the song One Cold and Frosty Morning. I created a resource for this song about a year ago, which you can find here. Today though, I thought I’d share some additional ideas and resources with you.

This song is great for discussing step-wise motion and/or an octave leap. In addition, the chords are simple enough that they could be played with a beginning ukulele class. It would also be great to use with a bordun accompaniment on Orff instruments, which is what I’ll be focusing on today.

If you’re not familiar with the different types of borduns, you can check out this old blog post of mine on the topic of mallets in the elementary classroom.

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 One Cold and Frosty Morning. You can use the excess space at the bottom of the guide to sketch out activity ideas or jot down notes on what you’d like to include in your own lesson plan.

Idea #1
I love beginning lessons with simple movements, so that students can internalize the song effortlessly as they perform the actions. There is no traditional dance or game associated with this song that I know of, so I decided to create one!

–Split students into a few large groups (makes movements easier later on)
–Begin with students shoulder to shoulder in a circle holding hands (teacher sings the song)
–“just as the sun did rise”–students stretch their circle out slowly (not breaking hands)
–“he drew himself up in a knot with his knees up to his chin”–students break hands and tighten the circle, scrunching down to the floor as they go
–“when he stretched out again”–students lay down on their backs, stretch out, and sing the final phrase on the floor

I’ve always found these kinds of movements, in which students must gather in and then spread out, to elicit the most laughter. And that’s the aim! After they’ve performed the movements a few times through, encourage them to sing the last phrase without you. Then, continue letting them take over the singing on specific phrases until they’re singing the whole song on their own.

Idea #2
Pull out your Orff instruments and set them up for the bordun accompaniment of your choice. If it were me, I would most likely start with a simple bordun using C and G and instruct students to play on the steady beat. The final phrase is the trickiest, so you might try having students play the accompaniment only up until the final phrase.

Download and print the freebies below to help your students play the accompaniment. You could also project them onto your interactive whiteboard. A big thanks to Dancing Crayon Designs for the wonderful clipart!



Idea #3
Once your students are able to play and sing the song, try putting it all together in a structured performance. Break students into three groups (players, singers, and dancers). Sing the song through at least three times to give all students a chance to sing, play, and dance (I’m a poet today). Then, set up a audio or video recording device and record students as they perform. When finished, pass out the free listening reflection sheet below, and play the audio or video recording for your students. I created two versions, one to be filled out by small groups, and another to be used individually.

I created these lesson ideas with second graders in mind, but they could be used with older or younger students with just a few modifications. I hope these ideas will prove helpful to you in the coming months ahead. As always, let me know what you think of this week’s freebies and lesson ideas in the comments below!

If you’re looking for even more resources for this song, check out this Orff activity in my store:

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for posting an after Thanksgiving song – I'm excited to try this with my 2nd graders, maybe even color code notes to use Boomwhackers!