Monster Rhythms: Sixteenth Note Practice and Composition

As we're getting toward the end of the year, students can do more independent work on the concepts they've learned.

A while back my 3rd grade students learned about sixteenth notes, and I was wanting to do something new and different when I happened to stumble upon David Row's blog post from January entitled: Music Monsters - Composition Game for 3rd Grade and Beyond.

Monster Invasion from David Row's Blog

Aren't those monster so stinkin' cute?!?! He even has tons rhythms all made up that you can print out on labels to quickly put together rhythms in his TPT Store!

While I would have loved to have found some super cute monster cut-outs like David's, I was not so lucky at out local Dollar Store. :-(

So, I came up with something different. Since this was my first time with this project I tried to keep it simple in case it didn't work out for my kids and I didn't want to use any colored ink.


I would normally share this through my Google Drive, but since this is not my original idea and I do not have David's permission, you just get this pic. ;-) BUT if you are unlucky at the Dollar Store, like me, you can find all sorts of free monster clip art on Teachers Pay Teachers and either using David's files or your favorite rhythm font, you can make your own! :-D

Some of my students are having trouble remembering that four sixteenth notes are four sounds in one beat. So I only used rhythms that are one beat-- quarter note, two eighth notes, and four sixteenth notes. I kept all my sixteenth notes connected, but we did review both ways we could see eighth notes written barred pairs and flagged pairs.

Using our cardstock-slipped-into-a-page-protector whiteboards, dry erase pens, and felt erasers we got to work setting up our boards to compose.

First, we set up four measures. We started with our time signature 4/4 and we reviewed how each or our sections or measures would need four beats. I had students draw four lines in each measure to show their four beats. I felt this would be a little easier especially for those students who were still struggling. We made sure we had our bar lines and double bar lines, and then we were ready for MONSTERS!

Just like in David's activity, students were able to choose their monster rhythms. I only had enough monsters for each student to have two.

After they "got rid" of their monsters they were able to fill their other two measures with any of the note values we had reviewed.

Some students/classes were super fast, and of course, others took quite a while in composing. I wanted to check through all students' work, and, if they finished quickly/accurately/and were able to read their four measures, they traded in their old monster rhythms for new cards.

In the picture below, you can see where (just like in David's activity) I had students show me where they used their monster rhythms. This student also had a few note heads they needed to write on the left side of the stems as opposed to under, but over all, they did a fabulous job!


While this student below forgot/didn't write their time signature when I took this picture, they were very proud of themselves for using the flagged eighth notes AND barred eighth notes as opposed to what they said were the "old" kind. :-)


Sorry about the brightness of the pics. I only had my phone on me and the lighting is not so great in that particular room. :-S

The kids had a great time composing! After writing on our "whiteboards" using two sets of monsters, students wrote out four measures of rhythms using quarter note, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes to take home and read to their parents. They were very proud of their work.

The quick worksheet I came up for that is on my school computer. I'll add pics of that later.

Thanks again, David Row, for a new twist on composition and practicing sixteenth notes!

And don't forget to check his BLOG for all sorts of awesome teaching ideas, videos, and links to great websites and resources!



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