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P.E. Central Lesson Plan: Jingle Bell Parachute
Purpose of Activity:
To enhance students' abilities to move to a rhythmic sequence.
Suggested Grade Level:
Materials Needed:
Parachute; recording of the song "Jingle Bells";
Lesson Plan:
Description of Idea

Jingle Bells is a winter song about a sleigh ride that can be used with students of any cultural origin. First, play (and sing) the song so students can focus only on hearing it. Then have students move to sitting around the parachute, waiting for instructions before they begin to pick it up. Note that the activity today will require them to perform a "pattern" according to the beats of the music.

Have students grip the parachute with thumbs on bottom, fingers on top (as if playing the piano).

Introduce each of the movement patterns without the music (demonstrate each, singing or saying the words while performing the movement). Once you have them all, put them together and add the music!

Chorus line 1: "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way..."
Movement line 1: Lift parachute slowly up, slowly drop down, slowly lift up, slowly drop down.

Chorus line 2: "...Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh, heh!"
Movement line 2: Fast shakes!

Verse 1: "Dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh, over the fields we go, laughing all the way, HaHaHa..."
Movement verse 1: Students slide to the right

Verse 2: "Bells on bobtails ring, making spirits bright, oh what fun it is to sing a sleighing song tonight!"
Movement verse 2: Slide to the left.

Repeat the sequence a number of times. After the activity, ask students to identify how the activity relates to mathematics or music. Did they find any patterns? This is a great time to make the connection between patterns in math and music -- which in actuality are very closely related! It also helps students to realize that "dance" is as simple as repeating a basic pattern!

Teaching Suggestions:

Change the movements as appropriate. For example, instead of sliding to the right or left, you could have students move forward 4 steps in to the middle; move backward 4 steps, and repeat.

Assessment Ideas:

Are students able to move and change patterns to the beat of the music? Observing each throughout the activity gives you an idea as to their "rhythmic awareness".
Francesca Zavacky who teaches at Clark Elementary School in Charlottesville , VA . Posted on PEC: 5/23/2001.
This lesson plan was provided courtesy of P.E. Central (
Products for This Lesson: