For beginning music students in upper primary or lower high school. A simple worksheet to introduce the students to the concept of beat. In groups of 4, the students create a very simple body percussion piece using only quarter notes, pairs of eighth notes, half notes and quarter rests (crotchets, pairs of quavers, minims and crotchet rests).
This is an activity that I always used in Year 7, generally in about the 3rd or 4th lesson of the year, however, this could easily be used for younger students, band students, etc. as well. Students who have already spent a few years learning music can very easily be extended by allowing them to improvise more complex rhythms over the top of the ones their group comes up with.
In stead of using body percussion, the activity could quickly be altered to use untuned percussion instruments in stead.
It's a fantastic activity to give beginning music students a feel for beat, and works well as an introduction to time signatures.
The worksheet also includes a self-evaluation section which would take less than 5 minutes to complete. A great way to finish the lesson and to get a feel for where the students are at.