# Using Legos to teach Rhythmic Notation (quarters, eighths and sixteenths)

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Using Legos to explore rhythmic notation provides a visual and tactile scaffold for youth music makers as they begin to understand how different rhythms sound in steady time.

When modeling the size/length relationship between different rhythms, join the Lego blocks together and stack on top of one another. This will help students understand (and see) the relationship between the different rhythm ratios; 2 medium Legos (eighth notes) take the same amount of space as 1 large Lego (quarter note). 4 small Legos ( sixteenth notes) take as much space as 2 medium Legos (eighth notes) or 1 large Lego (quarter note).

When modeling the composition, make sure you leave a bit of space in between each block. I have found that if the blocks are joined together, students have a harder time treating each block as its on sound.

Support students by constantly reminding them to double check their work so that it is “mathematically” correct. Remind students that their work should not be too complex they cannot play it. Remind students that large blocks can go in groups of 1, medium blocks must go in groups of 2 and small blocks must go in groups of 4.
*Do not move onto compound rhythms (1 eight note and 2 sixteenth notes) until students truly understand the relationship between quarter, eights and sixteenth in full beats.
Using Legos to explore rhythmic notation provides a visual and tactile scaffold for youth music makers as they begin to understand how different rhythms sound in steady time.

When modeling the size/length relationship between different rhythms, join the Lego blocks together and stack on top of one another. This will help students understand (and see) the relationship between the different rhythm ratios; 2 medium Legos (eighth notes) take the same amount of space as 1 large Lego (quarter note). 4 small Legos ( sixteenth notes) take as much space as 2 medium Legos (eighth notes) or 1 large Lego (quarter note).

When modeling the composition, make sure you leave a bit of space in between each block. I have found that if the blocks are joined together, students have a harder time treating each block as its on sound.

Support students by constantly reminding them to double check their work so that it is “mathematically” correct. Remind students that their work should not be too complex they cannot play it. Remind students that large blocks can go in groups of 1, medium blocks must go in groups of 2 and small blocks must go in groups of 4.
*Do not move onto compound rhythms (1 eight note and 2 sixteenth notes) until students truly understand the relationship between quarter, eights and sixteenth in full beats.
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