Pot of Gold
I’ve been testing out my new elementary level St. Patrick’s Day game, Pot of Gold, and it is fast and fun! It is a board game, where students answer a music question, roll a die, and move their pawn.
This is a big file so it might take some time to download. There are 8 pages, including 6 pages of elementary level cards: keyboards, notes, vocabulary, intervals, and key signatures. If you like to print a colorful back to your game cards so they look more professional, I included that, too. Scroll through all the pages included in this file and only print what you want. If you don’t know how to print the back to the cards, check out the FAQ at the top of my blog.
However, there is a little secret to this game. It is very much like my Thanksgiving game, Chasing the Turkey. So if you have already printed the cards to that game and you are in a hurry or want to save ink, you can use the Chasing the Turkey cards. I made this set of cards because I like to keep the game boards and cards together so I can find them quickly.
I printed the game board on card stock and laminated it, but I did not laminate the cards. I separate the cards by level before we play. I store board games in folders with pockets that I buy on sale at the beginning of the school year. On the inside of the folder, I glue the rules of the game because I forget the rules!
One of my older students was watching his brother as we played. “Hey, you’re giving him the answers,” he said. Then he quickly said, “But I guess if you don’t, he won’t learn anything.”
“You’re exactly right,” I said. The purpose of this game is to learn, and if he doesn’t know the answer, I help him out so he will!”
- To review previously learned musical symbols, intervals, key signatures, the notes of middle C position, and some music vocabulary words.
- To enjoy a seasonal game.
- Grades 1-4, using the appropriate cards for the concepts students have learned.
- Game board.
- Cards printed with various musical symbols and terms.
- One die.
- On pawn for each player.
- The game can be played with two or more players.
- Print the game board and cut out the cards.
- Each player puts his token on the game board. The first player draws a card and answers the question. If he doesn’t know the answer, give him hints until he gets it correct.
- Then he rolls the die and moves the number of spaces on the die. If he lands on a circle with instructions, he follows the instructions, such as taking a short cut, or moving back to Start.
- The game continues in the same way with the other players.
- When playing with a pre-school child, let him win most of the games so he will want to play again.
- The first player to reach the Pot of Gold is the winner.
Bats and Cats Note Game
Wow, this graphic really is over the top! I illustrated it this way so I could show the “Card of Doom” in Pinterest. We’ve been playing the game in my studio, and my students love the Card of Doom, especially since the teacher is usually the one who draws it! Honestly, it’s good that I love for my students to win because somehow they usually do!
We have really enjoyed this game. Even beginning students who have not learned to read notes can play by using a staff chart such as Halloween Notes on a Staff. If your students are getting ready for a theory exam, this is a great review for that, too.
Included in this set are 3 pages of notes on staves, one page of fun instruction cards to mix up with the note cards, a game board, and an optional colorful back for your cards, which make them look more professional. Be sure to set your printer to landscape orientation. Yes, this uses a lot of ink, but you only have to print it once. If you want it too look really good, use photo paper and laminate it. [If you don't know how to omit the optional back to the cards, check out my FAQ.]
This game can be played with students or teacher and student. The players take turns drawing cards and moving to the correct alphabet name. Mix up the staff cards with the instruction cards. The game is over when a player draws any note card after the last D. It is such a quick game you can play more than once.
- To reinforce or learn note names on the staff
- To learn the word “octave”
- To play a fast Halloween board game
- Kindergarten to grade 4 or 5
I know some of you would like keyboard cards so you can play this with beginners. Email me and I’ll send a PDF copy to you. But give me a few days, because I don’t have them made yet. I didn’t think to add them to this set because I only have one beginner, and he knows the keys now. So we used the Halloween Notes on a Staff sheet, which he filled out himself, and I was surprised to see him learn a few note names as he played.
Rhythm Flash Cards
These rhythm flash cards are about the size of a deck of playing cards. They are small enough for students to hold in their hands to play card games. A variety of levels are included, from beginning to late intermediate, whole notes to dotted eighths and sixteenths.
There are 6 pages of flash cards in this printable. The last page is a colorful graphic designed for the back of the cards so they are more fun. You can print only the pages of the cards you need. You will have to reinsert the graphic for the back of the cards into your printer. If you are not sure how to do this, look at the FAQ on this blog. Scroll down until you see “How to Print On Both Sides of Flash Cards.”
To keep the pattern for the back of the cards lined up evenly and to look nice, I didn’t make a cutting line all the way across the page. Instead, there is a thin white line to cut on.
If you are not going to print the colorful graphic for the back, take a ruler and connect the dotted lines on the front (the black and white side) of the cards before you cut them out.
For my young children, I made two sets of the first page (the easy patterns) so we could play “Go Fish”. I also played matching the cards with them, because matching these patterns is often a challenge for young beginning students. They also love to play the patterns on rhythm instruments.
With older students, we simply tap some cards at the end of lessons or string them together to make a phrase and tap. Sometimes I put a few of the cards on a table and one person taps while the other guesses the correct pattern.
These cards are very useful as a review for the bonus question of the Texas theory test. They are also helpful when a student is first learning eighth notes.
I am certainly open to suggestions on more ways to use these. If you have a good game or idea, please leave a comment here to share with others!
The Incredible Whole Rest
Do your students think that a whole rest always gets 4 beats? If so, they probably get confused when they are asked to add a rest for the entire measure in 3/4 time and not use dotted rests! According to the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Music, “The whole-note rest is used as a whole measure rest, irrespective of the actual time-value of the measure.”
I print out my NoteBoy posters on cardstock and laminate them. Then I place them on the sofa table in my studio for students to read and chuckle before their lesson. Humor has a way of sticking to your memory!
Teachers always ask me who is the note with the red cape and mask who always has a little comment to make. He is Mighty Dot, the super hero who wears black and flies to notes to make them longer. He’s a powerful guy. In my mind he has an accent kind of like Zorro, and he is an expert in rhythm and all things theory related!
If you are not familiar with my NoteBoy posters, check them out. There are NoteBoy posters on all kinds of music theory, such as lead sheet, ledger lines, and chord inversions, and they are all my gift to your music students. My students love them! Let me know if yours do, too!