Playing Cups to Help With Rhythm Recognition

Students in First Grade use white boards, cups and simple rhythm patterns to play a pattern recognition games. Students work in pairs to create 3 different rhythm patterns using quarter notes, quarter rests and eighth note pairs. Each pattern is 4 beats in length. Students then choose one of their patterns to perform for their partner. To help with recognizing rhythms, students use cups to tap and hands to clap (tap the eighth note pairs on a cup and clap the quarter notes). This helps students practice different rhythms as well as the give the listener a visual of the rhythm pattern being performed as they learn to hear and see patterns at an early age. The listener has to guess which of the three patterns were performed. This is a great game for pattern review or to play when students wrap up another activity and there are just a few minutes left in the period. You can also add more scaffolding by having pre-made rhythm patterns and students choose three and play one. This takes the creating patterns piece out of the activity and allows reach for students who may not be ready yet to draw rhythm patterns.

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