# Rhythm Dice Compositions

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I have seen this idea and created my own version of it that I think follows good steps and a logical sequence.

I will do this 1 day activity with my 6th graders after we have covered rhythm and beat, notes and rests (whole, half, quarter, eighth and dotted half), time signature and bar line.

We begin class by reading through the project's steps and doing one composition together as a class so that students understand the steps, sequence and directions. The first step is creating 6 different rhythms that all equal four beats. Each dice (separate free download) should equal four beats. (Some kids get confused and want Dice 1 to = 1 beat, 2 to = 2 beats, etc. so make sure that is explained.) I usually call on students randomly to create rhythms, since we have been working on this in class for the past few days. I make sure there are a few with eighth notes and some using rests, since sometimes counting those beats confuse kids.

After all 6 rhythms have been created, I let kids take turns rolling a dice, explaining that the order of their rhythms will be based on their roll, entirely by chance. (Sometimes kids roll all 4s! Sometimes it's a combination of only 2 rhythms. That's what makes them unique.)

The final part is sometimes the most confusing to kids. After you have written your 'order' of rhythms, you will put it on the staff paper. (I will add this as a separate free download as well.) Before we start writing our composition, I ask students what the Time Signature would be if I have 4 beats in each measure. (4/4 time, then we write the time signature at the top of the composition.) I show them how when I have a '4' rolled for measure one, I will input Rhythm 4 in measure 1. I'll do this with a few measures to show them the process, and usually I have kids just draw their notes on bottom space F (we do this before I introduce treble/bass clef, so this activity is just to read the rhythm.)

After I have shown students how to do a composition as a class activity, I have them split up into groups of 3-4 where they work independently on these. I usually check their rhythms and help them get started putting the rhythms on the staff. The next class period, I put the compositions on the board and we all read them and clap them together, troubleshooting tricky rhythms and going over them together.
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1 page
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Teaching Duration
2 days
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