Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lego Rhythms

Follow this link for PDF lesson plan and worksheets

This would be read Ti-Ti Ta Ta-a

Each circle or "stud" is worth 1/2 a beat. That being said one stud  would be equal to 1/2 a beat or an eighth note, 2 studs equals 1 beat or a quarter note, 4 studs would equal 2 beats or a half note.

First of all let me give credit where credit is due. I found this lesson as I was doing one of my daily “check –ins” on Pinterest. It is was created by Jennifer Fink from Here’s the link to her website . I encourage you to check it out. She has AMAZING ideas! So, here’s how I adapted it for my students. I use this with my Kindergartners all the way up. I have a 6 year old son, so I knew that it would be a huge hit in my classes. I even had a couple of parents ask me about our “Music Legos”. Next year, I will follow it up by using Jennifer’s “Hot Cross Buns” idea where my students can use the Lego rhythms to notate a song on the staff.
I have adapted her lesson to fit the needs in my classroom. The first thing I did was go to our local Lego store. My husband told me that they had a whole wall of loose Legos where you just choose what you need and fill a cup. I filled a large cup for $14.99 and had more than enough for my classes of 32. I was lucky enough to get the exact ones that I need and they were in our school colors. I also bought a few Lego plates for $4.99. Needless, to say I was one happy music teacher.
I then went home and created a interactive SMARTboard lesson to go along with the lesson. It’s on my school computer. I’ll attach it here asap. The first lesson, I just introduced the concept on the board and used Mega Blocks as my hands-on tool. I had the students create their own Lego rhythms on the SMARTboard. It was a huge success. They still had no idea that they would all be getting their own to “play” with the next class period. The first lesson, I was informed by one of my 2nd graders that it’s not a dot on top of the Lego, it’s called a stud. LOL So, I explained to my students that each “stud” is worth ½ beat, an eighth note and 2 studs equal 1 beat or a quarter note and so on. It’s all laid out in the SMARTboard lesson.
For the 2nd lesson, we reviewed the previous lesson and I had a big surprise each of my students was getting their OWN bag of Legos! Oh the excitement! I assembled “Lego” bags which I numbered from 1-35. Students have numbers in my classroom, so this made for easy set-up. Each bag consists of 8 eighth note Legos, 4 quarter note Legos, 2 half note Legos and a Lego plate. I cut the Lego plate into pieces for the kids to display their rhythms. This can be done with scissors. I was able to get by with just one plate. I then played a rhythm and the kids recreated the rhythm with their Legos. Then I had them put the Lego Rhythm on the SMARTboard. We then counted the rhythm aloud using ti’s and ta’s.
For the 3rd lesson, we reviewed the previous lesson and added one more element. I had the kids come to the board and write the rhythm in rhythmic notation. This was a great lesson and is now a favorite of my students. Some of the best $20 that I have ever spent for my classroom.

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