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Here’s a Rhythm game idea using Body Percussion




4, 5, 6, 7  


Title – rhythm game using body percussion
By – Michelle L. Miller
Primary Subject – Music
Secondary Subjects –
Grade Level – 4-7 
Objective: Students will be able to accurately write and count rhythms.
Write a whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth notes in a group of two, sixteenth notes in a group of four, and a quarter rest on the board. Under each symbol write a body percussion element to be used for each. I use “slide” (drag hands from shoulders to hips) for whole notes, “brush” (brush hands along arms from shoulder to shoulder) for half notes, “clap” (clap hands) for quarter notes, “snap snap” (snap fingers alternating hands) for eighth notes, pat thighs for sixteenth notes, and palms up for quarter rests. Distinguish these patterns and their counting values to students. Write a 4-beat rhythm on the board and ask students to substitute body percussion for written notes/rests. Have students “play” rhythm back to teacher to show understanding.
To implement as a game: divide students into teams (I usually use 3 teams and number off students). One person from each team goes up to the board and faces teacher. Teacher counts off 4 beats of prep, then plays a 4-beat pattern with body percussion (such as clap pat pat pat pat snap snap palms up–
quarter note, 4 sixteenths, 2 eighths, quarter rest).
Students on “go” face the board and write the rhythm as performed. Play for students as needed to check accuracy; after a few times they only need one play. The first team member to write the rhythm accurately
gets 3 points, second one done gets 2 points (if correct), last one done gets 1 point (if correct). No points are taken away for incorrect answers. The team with the most points at the end of class wins. The whole lesson takes about 30 minutes.
Evaluation: students can accurately write and count rhythms as performed by teacher.
Follow-up: students learn the importance of listening skills development and have fun at the same time!!
NOTE: I’ve used this game for about two years now and my students love it (even my jr. high kids)!! It’s a great game for learning rhythms and counting. I use elements of this game for my band students as well.
Have fun!!

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