I begin by teaching the song, although most of my students already know it, but there are a few who don't. Ask them if the song is a winter song or a Christmas song. You know what they are going to say, right? Christmas, of course! Well, boys and girls, what makes it a Christmas song? Does it mention reindeer, presents, Jesus, Santa, gifts, birthday? No? Well, what kind of song is it?
Then it's time for a little history lesson and a few pictures about "one horse open sleighs" and "jingle bells".
I posted about Jingle Bells a few years ago but just updated the post and changed a few things. Check out that post here, it's called "Jingle What"
This is one of my favorite activities from that post:
Unpitched Percussion Timbre Tantrum:Students divided into four groups. I place four hula hoops on the floor with drums inside one, rhythm sticks in another, metals in another and shakers in another.
Drums play rhythm of "jingle bells"
Metals (break out the jingle bells) for 2nd "jingle bells"
Woods on "jingle all the"
Shakers for "way". (teach how to shake through 4 beats on "way")
On "Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh" everyone plays 8 beats together.
Back to drums, metals, woods, then shakers, then everyone plays together again for the final 8 beats of "B".
Dances:Mrs. Q's blog has a simple dance for your younger students here.
Amy Abbot has an awesome parachute dance here.
Rob Amchin's Jingle Bell Dance:
Here are a few more my students enjoy!