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This 4/4 rhythm activity is a good introduction to canon and part-singing
Language Arts, Music
K, 5, 4, 2, 3, 1
Title – Rhythm Canon
By – Carol Wilmar
Primary Subject – Music
Secondary Subjects – Language Arts
Grade Level – K-5
This activity helps children learn to keep a 4/4 rhythm and is a good introduction to canon and part-singing.
The children and teacher sit in a circle. The teacher begins a 4/4 rhythm by gently slapping hands on thighs. The teacher then says: “I WENT to the JUNgle and I HEARD a funny NOISE.” Going round the circle, each child makes a jungle noise and keeps making it while subsequent children add their own noises. After each new noise, the teacher says the phrase again. Younger or more self-conscious children can work in pairs or groups. Older children can contribute their own ideas to the theme of the activity: I Went to the Farm and I Heard a Funny Noise, or, for Halloween, I Went to the Haunted House and Heard a Spooky Noise. Rhythm instruments can replace the thigh-slapping once the children master the concept. The activity is more challenging than it may seem, because children can get confused or lose the tempo in the cacophony! However, once they get the hang of it, the resulting “songs” can sound very good!
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