Mothers Day Composing Activity
Originally posted in 2008, I’ve revised the art and words, and put both the pre-reading and on-the-staff versions in the same file. They use less ink, too. Print only the version you want and save paper!
If you have trouble printing these, please save them to your desk top or in any file and the file. If you subscribe to this blog, don’t try to print from the email that you receive from WordPress. Also, if you have upgraded to Windows 10, you might not be able to open my files unless you make some changes. Check out my FAQ for more help.
Some students take meticulous care in writing their melody. Others dash it off as just one more thing they have to hurry through! Some like to add words and others want to change my rhythm all around. It’s interesting to watch their reaction and it’s fine with me! My rule is that it has to end on the tonic to work with my melody.
If you’ve never seen this kind of composing sheet, here is a quick tutorial.
- Use any 5-finger position.
- Sing the first 8 measures.
- Clap and count the rhythm of the last 8 measures until they know it well.
- Students write in the finger numbers they want to use inside the flower pictures. Be sure to use pencil! A good composer is always revising!
- Optional: Laminate and add a bow as a Mother’s Day present!
- Follow the same directions as above, except students write their melody on the staff.
- Students who are more advanced like to write in chords or notes in the l.h. and melody in the right.
- Beginning students limit their melody to the right hand in C position.
- Explain a good sounding melody often will end on the 5th note of the scale in measure 12 and the tonic key note in the last measure. This is a great opportunity to discuss how to write a good melody.
Steal A Heart Game
I created this game about five years ago for a group class I had near Valentine’s Day. It was an older group with middle school and high school age students. I told them it was a game to test them on the dreaded ledger line notes! But I also included all the notes so I could use it with more students.
They had a lot of fun playing it, stealing the same cards back and forth and trying to figure out the really hard ledger lines. They laughed a lot and I was glad that I had a game this group enjoyed.
There were really only two problems with this game in the original form:
- It used a whole lot of red ink.
- I could never remember the rules!
With that in mind and with Valentine’s coming up, I remade it. I cut the amount of red ink by about 80%. If you don’t want to use all the difficult ledger line cards, you don’t have to print them because they are on a separate page. And the game directions are included in the PDF file, so you can print them and keep it with the game.
I hope these revisions will encourage more teachers to try it. It works well with any age student and it is lots of fun.
It can also be modified for use in a private lesson.
- To review the names of notes on the grand staff.
- To learn identify ledger line notes in the bass and treble staves.
- Print a game board for each player.
- Print and cut the small note cards along the dotted lines.
- Place a stack of the little heart cards face down in reach of everyone.
- The first player draws a card, names the note, and places the card on an empty heart on his/her game board.
- Give students time to figure out the note.
- If a student draws a “Steal a Heart” card, he may take a heart card from the game board of the person on his right, but he must name the note he is stealing.
- If he draws a “Be Mine” card, he puts it over a card he has already placed on his board to protect it, and then draws another card. The other players cannot steal a card that is “protected” with the “Be Mine” card.
- If the player draws a “Give my Heart” card, he gives one of his cards to the player on his right, who must name the card before he can accept it.
- Feel free to modify the rules or change the way the game is played.
Ornament Intervals 2nd to Octave
Here is the last ornament worksheet I will have time to make this year. Thanks very much to Peggy for proofing it for me!
FYI, if you have some students who are looking for Hanukkah worksheets, I made some a few years ago and you might want to check them out.
Autumn Rhythms Tic Tac Toe
Today I am posting a seasonal game to review note values such as dotted quarter notes and eighth notes. I included stems going up and down to help students become familiar with that.
This game is played like Tic Tac Toe using bingo chips. It is for two players, but it is easily modified for more students and played like Bingo.
Regular readers will notice this is similar to the Bats and Cats Rhythm Game. However, I remade the small cards to include more patterns and I changed the levels some. Now I need a year round theme so I’m taking suggestions!
There are two levels included. The second level is a great game to reinforce dotted quarter notes. Some children don’t know how to add fractions, so adding 1 1/2 + 1/2 is too much for them. Of course we all have those students who seem to understand anything related to math without the teacher having to explain it! They like this game, too.
There are 5 pages in this PDF document: a game board, 2 levels of cards to cut out, and the backs for each level.
I advise printing the backs to the small cards to help you quickly distinguish the levels for fast set-up.
- To quickly add beats in rhythm patterns
- Bingo tokens, a different color for each player. [Suggestions for tokens include inexpensive colored erasers or pieces of cut out construction paper. Colored bingo chips are available online. ]
- One game board for two players. If playing in groups, 1 card for each player.
- Calling cards with the appropriate level for the student.
- Print the game board on card stock or photo paper and laminate, if desired.
- Print one page of the calling cards. Turn the page over and print the “back” of the calling cards. Check out my FAQ for hints on how to do it.
- Cut the calling cards along the dotted lines. Place in a stack face down.
- The calling cards contain notes and/or rests worth 1, 2, 3, or 4 beats (in 4/4 time.) The game board has squares with one note or rest worth 1, 2, 3. or 4 beats.
- Player one draws a calling cards and counts the notes/rest value. He places a bingo chip on a square with that note value.
- This is repeated by the second player, with a different colored bingo chip.
- Play continues in this manner until a player has a chip on 3 squares in a row in any direction, including diagonally, as if the players are playing Tic Tac Toe.
- An alternate way to play is to give each player a game board. Players take turns drawing a card and putting a bingo chip on the correct square. The object is to be the first player with all their squares covered.
- Note: If a player draws a card that has no note left with that rhythm value, he is not able to place a chip on the board and it becomes the next players turn.
Why I like it:
This is a simple game and it’s easy and fast to play. But it really works and you will see your students improve their ability to count rhythms and to quickly add them up. One teacher, Louise, who played the Halloween version, left this message a few years ago:
Thank you so much for this game, Susan. I have played it with my Grade 2 students and found that although they were hesitant at first, when adding up the dotted notes and the grouped semiquavers and quavers, after a couple of games they were seeing at a glance how many beats were in the groupings. Such a useful game. I may bring it out even when it isn’t Halloween!