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Cup Game - Susan Ramsey
Cup Game Pattern
First part:
Language is: "clap clap bumblebee, clap, up, down" ("ta, ta, titi, ta / ta, ta, ta, rest")
Beat 1: clap (ta)
Beat 2: clap (ta)
Beat 3: tap the top of the cup twice (titi)
Beat 4: tap the top of the cup once (ta)
Beat 5: clap (ta)
Beat 6: raise the cup a few inches into the air (ta)
Beat 7: place the cup down again (ta)
Beat 8: rest

Second part:
Language is: "Clap, Grab, Pop, Down, Switch, SLAP, Pass"
("ta, ta, ta, ta / ta, ta, ta, rest")
Beat 1: clap
Beat 2: grasp the cup from the left with the right hand
Beat 3: "pop" the top (open) end of the cup against the left palm held flat with thumb up
Beat 4: place the cup down, right side up. Don't let go of the cup.
Beat 5: place the bottom of the cup in the left palm, then grasp with left hand. "Switch" the cup to your left hand in this movement.
Beat 6: Slap the table (or floor) with the right palm down.
Beat 7: Using the left hand, place the cup in front of the person to the right, reaching over the right hand that has slapped down. The cup is placed upside down, in position to begin the first part.
Beat 8: Rest

• Teach the first part first and pass the cups on the "up/down" part putting it down in front of the person to your right.
• You'll need enough cups for everyone playing, but as you are teaching it, pass the cups out gradually. Pass to your right until everyone in the circle has a cup in front of him or her. Once everyone has a cup, teach the second part s..l..o..w..l..y!
• Use plastic tumbler cups. Paper cups will get crushed and cans are too noisy.
• Try this game using the Washington Post March (Sousa)
• Try this in a performance using white gloves, white cups and black light.
• Have the kids make up their own cup passing patterns!

6th Grade Music Math Game - Patty O.
  Here is an idea that worked really well in my sixth grade general music class. I passed out a reproducible hundreds board to each student. The hundreds board is basically a piece of paper with a grid from 1 to 100. Row one has the numbers across from 1 to 10, each in its own box; the second row is 11 - 20, etc., up to 100.
  We reviewed note values. Then, each student got a hundreds board and a button. I then gave them instructions. For example:
  Put your button on number 55.
  Now add a whole note (add 4).
  Now add a dotted half note.
  Now divide by a half note.
  Now add three quarter notes.
  Subtract 8 sixteenth notes.
  Add 20.
  Add two eighth notes.
  Add a dotted whole note.
  Subtract a dotted half/eight note.
  Subtract four sixteenth notes.
  Subtract two eighth notes.
  You should be back where you started: 55!

  We did this again and again. Then, students came up and tried to stump the class. It was amazing how much fun we had and how many different variations were created. It was great to see them figuring out note values and different combinations.


Ball-Bouncing Game - Tina Morgan
  This is an activity that I've been doing with my 6th graders. I have six playground balls - all different colors, and I think they are about 8 1/2 inches in diameter. I ordered them last spring and they were very inexpensive.
  Make a circle - distribute the balls fairly evenly. There will be anywhere from two to four students between each "bouncer," depending upon your class size and how many balls you have. I start out very simple - bounce on beat one, hold and rest for beats two, three, four. Do this for eight 4-counts, then pass to the person on the right, and do the same thing. One day a little "chant" came to mind:

  Hold 2 3 4
  Pass it 2 3 4
  Get ready 2 3 4
  Bounce on beat 1.

  That kind of kept the "flow." Other patterns I've tried: Bounce on beats 1 & 2, beats 1 & 3, beats 1 2 3, and beats 2 & 3.
  I know this sounds sooo easy, but my 6th graders (and you all have heard me complain about some of my classes) have really enjoyed it. I think it's just the whole novelty of it - and many of them have seen the Stomp Out Loud video and remember the basketball scene. I'm going to try to do more complicated things with them, maybe combining more than one pattern. We only spend about 10 minutes or so on this (out of 55-minute periods).
  This week I think we'll try it with some music...


Basketball and STOMP Activity - Laura Bartolomeo
  I had an unmotivated group once (seventh graders), and we used a basketball beat activity and combined it with the video STOMP. (This would work well with fourth through eighth graders.)

1. We looked for three things while watching STOMP - the steady beat, an ostinato, and then the main rhythm. Once the students had the idea, I put them in groups of four or five.

2. Using nothing but body percussion, the students were to have a steady beat begin, then layer on an ostinato, then the main rhythm (we used nursery rhyme rhythms - clapped, not spoken), then the ostinato would drop out, and then the steady beat would stop for the ending. (It was a basic symmetrical layer on then layer off.) The students knew that if they did this well (i.e., silent start, good middle, silence after the ending, organized, professional, etc.) that each group would then get a basketball.

3. Using the basketball, repeat #2.

4. Going back to no props, change the form. Instead of Intro-A-Coda, try Intro-A-B-A-coda, or like the video try stopping all patterns and re-starting.

  The students really loved this activity. After each performance we would discuss whether we heard a steady beat, ostinato, etc., and they quickly had true understanding of those concepts.


Drum Circle - Becky Luce
  I use drumming each week with my 6th graders, and there are a few things you can easily do.

1. Start a four-beat pattern and let each player pick it up, one at a time, going around the circle. When everyone has it, just keep it going for a while, being careful about not speeding up.

2. Same as above, but once it's been going a while, start another pattern. Everyone keeps playing the first pattern until the new pattern reaches them.

3. Split the group into two parts: have one group begin a pattern and repeat it, then add the second group with a complementing rhythm.

4. Play "What's for Dinner?" You, as the leader, play the two-beat pattern of dotted eighth, sixteenth, eighth, eighth while saying, "What's for dinner?" The students must answer within a two-beat pattern, for example: ti-ri-ti-ri ti-ti (that's the rhythm they'd play) for hamburgers and french fries. Lots of fun!


End-Of-The-Year Activity: Recorder Bingo - Gretchen Taylor
  I wanted to let you all know that my homemade recorder bingo game was great success with my 6ths and 7ths. I prepared a blank tic-tac-toe grid with a "Melody Space" in the middle. I made copies of the grid. Then I copied the Recorder Karate chart of all the notes/fingerings found in the book. I let the kids prepare their own grids by having them cut out 8 of the 10 possible notes and glue them on the grid in any arrangement they wanted. Then I had them glue the grids onto black construction paper. I laminated them all. I made two laminated copies of the note/fingering chart, one which I cut up by notes for calling, and the other for the master chart.
  To play, I invited a student to be the caller. I drew each note card, s/he would play the note for the class. No note names were given - they had to go strictly by the fingering and sound. All would mark their cards until a Bingo was called. Then the caller would check the winner's card. The winner would call out each note name and then play it. I would check the master chart. Now, if their bingo checked out okay, they would then have to come up front and play a few measures from a simple song out of the method book. This is for the Melody Space. If there was more than one bingo, all winners would come up and play.
  To make the game a little more interesting, I would determine various patterns for each round (like an X, +, T, L, upside down T, postage stamp, H, etc.). Each pattern included the Melody Space.
  The kids really seemed to enjoy the game. The different callers got some extra practice playing all the notes and being a leader, AND I got to hear the kids play (a way to get some extra assessments).
  It took my 7th graders most of one class period to make the cards. We spent a whole period (45 min.) playing the game.
  Know though, that both of my classes playing the Bingo game have been introduced to all the notes. Hope this is clear enough.


End-Of-The-Year Activity: Rhythm Race - Sandy Elder
RHYTHM RACE (2nd-5th)
  Best with small to medium class sizes. For large classes, divide into three teams instead of two and make floor markings for three teams.

Materials: tape to mark two X's on the floor (not necessary if you have two sturdy NON-FOLDING chairs that DON'T slide easily), small drum and stick, black/white board, chalk/markers, eraser(s), and (opt.) enough little treats for the whole class (little candies or whatever).


1. Choose two captains and divide into equal teams (okay if not exact).
2. Have kids sit as teams, facing the board.
3. On the floor (or using chairs), draw two large X's next to each other. This is where the players will sit when it's their turn. They should be positioned in front of the other players. On bare/carpeted floors, draw a T with tape and have each team sit on one side of the T. Draw the X's just in front of the T.

1. Captains each pick one kid to sit on their X.
2. Teacher plays a rhythm (start easy and progress through the game) on the drum.
3. Entire class echoes. (They will not do this automatically, but will instead be tempted to run to the board right away. This is an important step, though, because it keeps the entire class engaged and helps them remember the rhythm better.)
4. Teacher says, "GO!!!," and kids on the X's race to the board, write the rhythm, and race back to their X's.
5. First one back gets his/her answer checked first. If right = 1 pt., if wrong = check the slower kid's answer. Pt. if right.
6. If both reach the X together, check both.
7. If no one gets the answer right, repeat it for the next two players.
8. Play until end of lesson.
9. Treat for all who are good sports (losers AND winners) and double treat for winners, or just let them line up first.

  This is quite an active lesson, but it harnesses their energy into a wonderful learning game and gives you the chance to do some informal assessing.

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