I have gotten a lot of questions on my Facebook page about lesson plans, from templates to actually planning, so this blog post will hopefully help you with just that!
Once I finish my long range (yearly or monthly) plans, I start to break it down, looking at what concepts I am preparing, practicing, and presenting in each month and begin to find the songs that will fit those concepts.
For each lesson I make a column for rhythm and pitch so that I make sure that I am addressing both (no matter where I am in the Prepare/Present/Practice) in each lesson. It looks something like this. I start off just listing things and then I put them in order once I figure out how I want to weave the songs together (that's what the numbers are for):
My first two years teaching I know there would be lessons where I would focus too much on rhythm and barely get to pitch, so making sure that I get a good helping of both kinds of activities has been a big focus in my planning since completing level 3 Kodaly training. I have also paid more thought to my transitions and how I will move from one activity or song to the next. In kindergarten, especially at the beginning, I tend to weave things together with stories, but as my kids get older I find more musical transitions. You can read more about those here.
Last year, when I added kindergarten and pre-k once a month I knew I wasn't going to have them enough to have a seating chart, so I thought a lot about where they would be in my room, how they would enter my room etc. I decided I would have them start each class entering to music so that from the moment they walk into the door they are totally immersed in music. That wasn't something I had done with my 1st-5th, but it worked wonderfully. This year as I move to full day kindergarten and getting to see them three times a week, I am going to have to come up with a much longer playlist, but I love having something different every day (or every few days) to keep them on their toes.
So basically once I have the rhythm and pitch concepts covered for my lesson, I figure out how I want them to be sequenced in my lesson. Which activities would be better at the beginning, the middle the end? I try to mix high and low areas of concentration. I always try to start and end with something that doesn't require a lot of brainpower, and put the "meat" or higher level thinking things in the middle of my lesson. So the pages of my lesson plan might look like this:
Standards addressed... still getting used to the new ones, objectives, Prepare/Present/Practice, materials, song list
Again a more detailed breakdown of which songs I am using for beat/rhythm concept, and which I am using for pitch/melodic concepts:
And then procedures.... this is the HOW. How am I going to use this song? What am I doing with it? How am I going to get from this song to the next? How are my STUDENTS going to get from this song to the next?
I usually don't script them out this detailed for just myself. In a perfect world where my fairy godmother comes and grants me a million extra hours in my day, maybe! BUT... I have just uploaded a sample lesson plan for Day 1 of Kindergarten. I do a lot more with procedures and music room rules than I do later in the year, but I still try to immediately immerse them in music, singing, moving, listening, etc. You can find this first day lesson for free here:
It is not intended to be a "print and teach", but a model to guide your own planning, show you what a lesson in my room at the beginning of the year might look like, and give you ideas for things to incorporate into your lessons or additional resources that you might want to have in your classroom.
This first lesson is free sample of a semester long set of lessons that I am working on. Each will be in the same kind of format, opening with some kind of movement/listening for the kids to enter, and scripted throughout the entire lesson so that you know HOW I am using the songs and WHY. Again, these are not print and go, but they may contain a lot of new ideas that you can pull from. Find out more about the full semester set of 36 Kindergarten lessons here:
Once I have my lessons planned for all of the grades for that week, I put them into a typed planner that looks like this:
An editable version of this is included in the free Kindergarten Lesson #1 download.