Fall Favourites from Musicplay - Week 3

This week we will feature a spooky song called “Bats” from Musicplay Grade 4.  This is a great song because it does not reference Halloween, so all your students can participate in the fun activities.


Song 21 from Musicplay 4

Grade Level:

Grade 3 - 5


  • Create sound effects. I can create sound effects.
Materials Needed:
  • Balloons (1 for every student).
  • Projectables of lyrics from Musicplay Digital Resource or Musicplay Online Subscription (Optional)
  • Orff instruments or other pitched percussion instruments you have access to.
Teach the Song with Movement:
  1. Sing through the entire song for students. Clap on the words “ee, ee, ee”.  Ask the students what words you clapped in the song.  Ask them to clap with you on these words the next time you sing the song.
  2. Sing through the song again and open your hands on the words “fly away”. Sing through the entire song again getting students to clap on the “ee, ee, ee” sounds and open their hands on “fly away”.
  3. Model for the students with a balloon how you let a little bit of air out on the "ee, ee, ee" sounds and let go of the balloon on "fly away".  I always tell my students once they can sing all the words and play the Orff arrangement, they will get a chance to try the balloons!
Teach the Orff Arrangement:
  1. Once students are comfortable with the words, try teaching the Orff arrangement. Teach the bass xylophone part by patting and saying the ostinato, “Bats.... fly.... in the night” using the rhythm of the bass part.  Speak and pat the ostinato many times, then ask the student to “think” the words, but still do the movement.  Then try doing just the movement while you sing the song.  
  2. Transfer the patting movement to instruments. It says to use bass instruments, but it’s ok for the whole class to try this pattern on whatever you have available.
  3. Add the glissando at the end of each verse by showing your arm moving low to high. Transfer this to glockenspiels. 
  4. Once students are able to sing the words and play the Orff arrangement successfully, then allow 4-5 students at a time to play the “ee, ee, ee” sounds by letting a little air out of a balloon. On “fly away”, let go of the balloon.  The rest of the class can play the Orff arrangement or sing along.  Continue repeating the song until every student has had a chance to try a balloon.
NOTE: If you don’t have a bass xylophone or metallophone, accompany the song with an E minor chord on the guitar, or with E and B on Boomwhackers. 
  1. Give groups of students a selection of plastic bugs, worms and spiders and invite them to create a 4-beat ostinato pattern.  
  2. Then transfer the words to non-pitched percussion.  
  3. The pattern shown below would be:  Fly Caterpillar Lizard Bat
  4. Try the different ostinato patterns while you sing the song.  Combine with Orff arrangement and balloons!
This song and more can be found in the collection "Sing and Play on Special Days".  
Sing and Play on Special Days:
This is a versatile collection of 67 singing games, rounds, poems, songs with Orff accompaniments, and unison and 2 part /piano songs for special days in the school year. Whether you are looking for a song to perform at an assembly, or for classroom teaching materials, you will find this a valuable resource!
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