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This is a Rhythm Face-Off Game
3, 4, 5
Title – Rhythm Face Off By – Chris Mosera
Primary Subject – Music
Grade Level – 3-5
Two teams are created. One student from each team comes to the board. One person from team A is the writer; one person from team B is the reader. This will alternate each round. After the whole class has gone, the readers become writers and vice versa.
The writer is given 10-15 seconds to write out a series of notes. If they use the entire time allotted, that becomes the amount of time the reader has to recite the rhythms (using Ta and Tee sounds and or clapping etc…) The less time the writer uses the less time the reader has. No matter what, the reader is given enough time for at least one attempt.
After one attempt and before time runs out, the reader is allowed to challenge the writer. If the writer can’t perform his or her own rhythm, their team loses a point. (This prevents kids from writing crazy rhythms. i.e.: 20 whole notes, illegible manuscript, you name it.)
If the reader performs the rhythm, their team receives one point. If the writer can perform the rhythm after a challenge, his team gets two points. If the writer can’t perform their own rhythm, they lose a point, and the reader’s group gets nothing. If the reader can’t perform the rhythm and doesn’t challenge, they lose a point.
The rules seem difficult to master, but the kids pick it up super quick. I can’t believe how into this they get. I let one student be the timekeeper which helps with the tension and suspense. The challenge factor keeps them writing what they know and always trying to learn harder rhythms. My students have created whole strategies of when to challenge and what to write. It’s like chess. This method can be used for anything with a little customization.
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