Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rhythmic Language Activities for Fall

Whew! The first six weeks of school have kept me busier than I'd like to be, but I'm enjoying new friendships and opportunities to develop and share ideas and materials. I've finally found time to put some of my autumn rhythm activities in a shareable format, and I want to give a brief outline of what I do and highlight a few of my recent publications.

I love using Gunild Keetman's Rhythm Building Blocks/Bricks to explore the rhythms embedded in language (and vice versa)! Here are some of my favorite rhythmic language activities which use Rhythm Building Blocks:

   * Extract two-beat patterns from simple poetry (or lyrics) and match
      them to corresponding Building Blocks.
   * Create a list of themed words and phrases and then explore/match
      their rhythms to the Building Blocks.
   * Give students word/phrase slips and have them discover and write
      the rhythm notation above the words. Then have students work in
      groups of four to create and share a performance sequence.
   * Then have students compose using body percussion or a limited
      tone set based on their rhythms.

A couple of hints: (1) Choose text carefully to set students up for joyful and successful learning.  Whenever possible, use separate words for separate beats or subdivisions. For example, "falling leaves" for 'ti-ti tah' or 'tiki-ti.' (2) This traditionally K-2 technique works very well with older students and more complex notation. For example, a two beat rhythm comprised of a quarter note and two eighth notes sounds the same as a one-beat pattern comprised of one eighth note with two sixteenth notes.




Note: I include black and white printables in my sets for economical printing.