4th Grade Rhythm Lessons 1-6

Each lesson is 30 minutes long.


Lesson 1 – Introduction


Lesson 2 – Rhythm

  • Welcome Song / School Song / Friendship or Positive Song
  • Seating chart
  • Hoop Rhythms – add body percussion (snap, clap, pat, stamp)
    • Use 8-beat patterns
    • Play rock beat on keyboard
    • Student “conductors” take turns by standing in one hoop at a time while students do the appropriate body percussion: 8 beats in each hoop. I say, “switch” at about beat 6 to help the “conductor” know when to go to a different hoop.
  • Ama Lama
    • I sing each line twice, then they do 4 hoops as an interlude between lines (8 beats each) – keep changing conductors.

Lesson 3 – Rhythm

  • Welcome Song / School Song / Friendship or Positive Song
  • 1-2 minutes of echo patterns. (I do 4/4 rhythm, they echo.) I vary body percussion.
  • 4 colored note cards on board I demonstrate a quarter note by patting the steady beat along with the rock beat on the keyboard.
    • Ask, “Which note am I doing?”
    • Demonstrate (and they do also) all of the notes on the colored cards (whole, half, quarter, eighth). Do hoops again with note durations this time  – a few conductors
    • Someone to front to put 4 hoops in order. (See hoops page “Variations.”)
  • Ama Lama review
    • Few more conductors – change to body percussion cards (red = snap)
    • Sing each phrase of song 2x, then interludes.
    • Add body percussion in interludes (all 4 hoops x 8 beats each = 32 beats)

Lesson 4 – Rhythm

  • Welcome Song / Friendship or Positive Song
  • Ama Lama
    • Demonstrate & patsch Beat vs. Rhythm
    • Review 4 notes (whole, half, quarter, eighth) and Quarter Rest
    • Large yellow rhythm cards with footprints – 6 cards, 1 per riser.
    • Before passing out instruments, tell students the instrument rule: play only when you are supposed to – or you lose the chance to play the instrument. As instruments are passed out, I take the time the first few lessons to name and demonstrate each instrument.
    • Instruments: Group 1 (4-6 students) = hand drums; 2 = claves; 3 = maracas; 4 = guiros; 5 = triangles; 6 = cabasas
  • Lil’ Liza Jane   (more songs with syncopation)
    • I start singing song (lyrics up on PowerPoint).
    • When I sing it the 2nd time, I ask students to snap when they hear a rest. After giving them a chance to try a couple of times, I help them figure out there are 4 quarter rests. Show where they occur on the PowerPoint.
    • Show jazz youtube video of the song.
    • Name any instruments they recognize.
    • Also, point out how different the song sounds in a “jazz” style.

Lesson 5 – Rhythm

  • Welcome Song / Friendship or Positive Song
  • Sing Ama Lama – (I pat beat) – ask them “Did I pat the beat or rhythm?”
  • Write 4 lines of Ama Lama rhythm on board – which one is which line? (Save line 2 till last)
  • Teach dotted quarter – Even vs. Uneven on board
  • Bubbles – Sore Foot March – or pat even or uneven patterns while students demonstrate rhythm in their feet as they walk around the room
  • Lil’ Liza Jane
  • Review song, they pat beat
  • Add snaps on rests again.
  • See if they can locate the dotted pattern:        (more songs with dotted quarter notes)
  • They find “Tam ti ta ta” pattern and clap when I get to it. (“Oh Eliza)
  • Watch video again – Review instruments and jazz style

Lesson 6 – Rhythm

  • Welcome Song / Friendship or Positive Song
  • Do rhythm practice, like these cards – or put rhythms on the board or PowerPoint.
    • Students say rhythms – review names of notes and rests
  • Ama Lama     (more songs with Orff arrangements)
    • Orff parts – 3 sections
      • Group 1: woodblocks & claves
      • Group 2: guiros & cabasas
      • Group 3: xylophones & metallophones
    • Switch parts as time allows. Encourage students to sing while playing.

See also

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4 thoughts on “4th Grade Rhythm Lessons 1-6”

  1. Jolandi Hanekom

    Hi. I just want to thank you for this amazing site. It is extremely helpful. I also just wanted to know how many pupils do you have in a class at a time?

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