Music Mail Repost with NGSSS

Here’s a repost of a favorite game/lesson with my students.  You can create different sets of envelopes with more difficult rhythms for your older students.

The NGSSS that would work with this lesson are:

MU.3.S.3.4 Match simple aural rhythm patterns in duple and triple meter with written patterns.

MU.3.S.3.5 Notate simple rhythmic and melodic patterns using traditional notation.

MU.3.O.2.1 Rearrange melodic or rhythmic patterns to generate new phrases.

To find benchmarks in other grade levels that would either provide scaffolding for this lesson, or extend it for other grades, look for the new grade level after the MU and then the same other letters and numbers (MU.2.O.2.1 will relate to this at a 2nd grade level, MU.4.O.2.1. would relate to this at a 4th grade level).



I have created “music mail” for my classroom.  I have a class set of envelopes that each have 5 index cards inside.  Each card has a different rhythm in a different color.

For example:

blue: ta   ta    ti-ti   ta

red: ta ti-ti- ta  ta

purple :ti-ti- ta  ta  ta

green: ta  ti-ti-  ta ti-ti

black:  ti-ti  ta  ti-ti-  ta

Each child gets their own envelope and we discuss the importance of not licking it shut… (ah, kids).

They lay the cards out in front and the games begin!

Level 1: Teacher claps a card (I start with 3 times at the beginning but we move to one fairly quickly) and the students pick up the card that the teacher claps.  They can’t pick it up and show the teacher until the teacher says, “You may now pick up the card.”  Then the teacher says, “If you are holding the *green* card you are correct!”  There are many “yessss’s” after that.  That goes on for a while and the different variations begin:

1. Students clap the cards for the class, taking turns.

2.  Teacher claps more than one card and students order the cards.

3. Teacher plays instruments instead of clapping.

4.  Students play instruments instead of clapping.

5. Students pair up and play memory with the cards.

I’m sure you can think of a million other variations! If you have one, please comment below and share with the group!

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