Fall Leaves

Lesson: Leaf Children

A beautiful children’s book and autumn leaves inspire creative movement and encourage children to make aesthetic choices about instrumental accompaniment to their leaf dance. A repeated refrain from the book provides an opportunity for vocal improvisation and the lesson also includes suggestions for creating an operetta. This lesson is suggested for children in grades K-1.

Download Marjie Van Gunten’s Leaf Children Lesson

Marjie Van Gunten

Marjie Van Gunten retired after 40 years of teaching music from early childhood through college level and is currently the AOSA Communications Coordinator. She has served on The Orff Echo editorial board, presents workshops on composition and improvisation and leads summer institutes on arts integration. Her training includes bachelor and masters degrees in music and post-Level III Orff Schulwerk training.

See all posts by


  1. Mary Ellen on November 12, 2015 at 6:42 am

    LOVE the lessons you are sharing with us. I send them to my principal who in turns sends out to all teachers. We are a Fine Arts Elementary school and really need to improve our MATH scores. Do you have any music lessons that target Math?

  2. Andrea on November 18, 2015 at 7:27 am

    This is lovely! Thank you!

    • Teaching With Orff on November 18, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      We are so pleased that you enjoyed the lesson Andrea!
      – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

  3. Becky on October 13, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Your emails are very inspiring. I get a lot of use from everything. Thank you for the work that you do.

    • Teaching With Orff on October 14, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      Becky, we are delighted to hear that our emails are of value. Thank you for the work that YOU do in education! – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

  4. Dee Deerman on October 23, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    I love the lessons you post – even if I can’t use it for some reason this year, I save them for future use. They are GREAT!

    • Teaching With Orff on October 24, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Thank you, Dee! We are so pleased that you enjoy our lessons, and we trust your students will love them too. – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

  5. Janet on November 23, 2016 at 10:02 am

    This is a lovely and engaging lesson. The art teacher, PE teacher and I (music) created an integrated unit for kindergarten using this book. In art, students created leaf prints and Mod Podge projects, the PE teacher took students on a leaf walk and did leaf-related parachute games. In music, we followed Marjie’s lesson, went an improvised “leaf walk” using paper bags for leaf sounds (presto, allegro/largo), and followed contours of the book pages for vocal exploration. Thank you for this lesson!

Leave a Comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Filed under

Sign up for latest Orff Tips, Lesson Plans and Advocacy Tools

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
PP1 Lead Magnet

Empower your students to create their own music in this free 3-day challenge with Roger Sams. (Lessons delivered via email)

Why Studio 49

Learn about the legendary factory that started it all and why so many teachers like you love our instruments.