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Rhythmic meter munchies.

Rhythmic notation is a foundation for learning music concepts. Engaging students in representative modules helps them to learn and recognize note values and teaches them the conceptual meaning of note values before they actually write rhythm patterns. This activity allows students to construct various rhythm patterns in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 meter by using M&Ms and pretzels as an extrinsic motivation. (The students can eat their "rhythm patterns" after the activity is over. First consider any dietary restrictions that your students may have.)


* Students will first begin by identifying which color M&Ms represent which notes: an eighth note, a quarter note, a half note, and a whole note (the pretzels will be the stems).

(Yellow = Eighth Note = Ti-ti,

Green = Quarter Note = Ta,

Orange = Half Note = Ta-a,

Blue = Whole Note = Ta-a-a-a)

* Students then will review duple, triple, and quadruple meter

* Using a work mat, students then may construct a pattern in each meter and copy the patterns onto a separate sheet of paper

* The teacher will ask students individually to say and clap each rhythm pattern

* If performed accurately, students then can select an instrument of their choice to perform the patterns for the class.

Expansion Activities:

* Allow advanced students to combine their patterns to create a 2- to 3-part ostinato and perform it on instruments for the class

* Start with a blank work mat, M&Ms, and pretzels. The teacher will clap a rhythm pattern in one of the meters. The students will have to first identify which meter was clapped and then notate the pattern on their work mat, using the M&Ms and pretzels. To check for accuracy, the teacher will ask volunteers to clap the pattern back.

At the end of the lesson, allow the students to eat their "rhythm patterns" and reflect on what they have learned.

This Idea-Sparker was submitted by Ashley Quinn, Petal Elementary School, Petal, MS. Ashley is also a graduate student at The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS.
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Article Details
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Author:Quinn, Ashley
Publication:Childhood Education
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2005
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