With the end of the year coming up, I am often asked, “What songs are you singing for your end of the year presentation?”
Before choosing songs for your presentation, take a minute and think about what your parents and students love or need. If you come from a place that this is about everyone having a good experience, then you will be better able to choose songs that provide that good experience.
Skinnamarink (silly version included)
What Do Parents Love?
Parents (and grandparents) absolutely LOVE having their children present for them. Let’s take a second and think about what it is that the parents love.
- Parents love seeing their child smiling, laughing, and having fun.
- Parents get a kick out of watching their child dance and doing their best to remember all the moves.
- Parents treasure listening to their child’s sweet voice.
- Parents appreciate that their child was brave enough to get up there and participate at any level.
And parent love knowing that their child is a member of a community that makes him or her feel safe, confident, and valued.
What Do Your Students Need?
Some of your students will love the idea of presenting a song or dance for their parents while others might not feel quite so excited about the idea. In order to have your whole community of young children singing and dancing with as much joy and confidence as possible, you will want to think about what your children need.
- Your students need to like the songs you choose: If they don’t like the them, then chances are they wont happily sing or dance to them.
- Your students need to be familiar with the songs you choose: The more familiar the song is to the children, the more confident and relaxed they will be about singing and dancing along with you.
- Your students need you to help them understand what to expect and what they are going to do: The more confused your children are about what is going on, the more anxious or resistant they will feel about participating when the times comes.
- Your students need to feel inspired by the songs you choose. Inspiration can come from choosing a song that challenges them; that is related to a topic they care about; that integrates sign language or musical instruments; or that invites them to sing, dance, or move in a way that they enjoy.
I have already alluded to this above, but my top tip for choosing your songs for your end of the school year is to fill the majority of your presentation with songs that your students have been singing and loving all year long.
I intentionally introduce songs throughout the school year that I feel would be good candidates for one of our end of the year presentations. By the time we get to the end of our school year, I have a pretty good idea which songs my student will enjoy and feel the most confident about presenting to their parents.
Now this doesn’t mean I don’t choose any new songs but I don’t wait until the last minute to introduce something new. In the end, I put a mix of mostly familiar with maybe one or two newer songs.
One of Our Faves!
Songs We Sing
These are some of the songs we are either singing this year or have sung in the past for our end-of-the-year presentations. Although I am sending you to listen to the song, some of them we sing with the music and others we sing without the music playing in the background.
“Everybody Clap” by Nancy Kopman
“Shake, Shake, Shake” by Nancy Kopman
“Horses” by Nancy Kopman
One Small Voice by Jack Hartman
“Sing” by Tom Lichtenheld and Joe Raposo
Peanut Butter and Jelly The Learning Shop
Mr. Sun by Raffi
Do you have a favorite song?
I would love to build a new list of songs to sing for my class. If you have a favorite song to share that your students love to sing or dance to, please leave the info in the comments below!