Cooking with Rhythms: A Valentine’s Lesson Plan

by Abby @ Quaver on February 14, 2013

in In the Quaver Classroom!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Is your classroom full of sugary treats and hyper love-sick children?

Channel that energy into a lesson on Rhythm, complete with a Valentine’s Day twist!

This lesson comes to us from Ashley Brown of Tuttle Elementary School in Maiden, North Carolina. Thanks Ashley!

Cooking with Rhythms

Cooking with Rythms: Quaver Lesson Plan

Written for 1st grade, fills a 40-minute class easily

This lesson plan meets National Standards: 5 (Reading and notating music) & 6 (Listening to, analyzing, and describing music)

  • I begin the class using a rhythm stick activity from a CD recording. The students
    echo rhythms using rhythm sticks. You may have a favorite Rhythm class opener already, or you can find many in the Quaver Teacher’s Guide for Rhythm!
  • Once everyone is warmed up, show the “Cooking with Rhythms” chapter from Quaver’s Episode on Rhythm, or the full episode if you have a longer class period.

Now it’s your turn to cook with rhythms!

  • Hand out the following materials to pairs of students:
      • Small container of play-doh
      • Laminated Heart Chart (Feel free to download, print, laminate, and cut from my template!)
      • Crayon
      • Dryer sheet

Click to Download Hearts Template



Reinforce Rhythm Dictation:

  • Demonstrate to the class that you are going to play a rhythm, ask them to echo and then to write it using the play-doh.
  • Practice one rhythm together. I play 2 quarter notes, 1 pair of eighth notes, 1 quarter note, and then the students echo the rhythm.
    • Decide that on the first heart there should be one blob, one blob on the 2nd heart and the 4th heart. On the 3rd heart the students performed the famous “whackyknocky” technique to create two blobs!
    • Decide that one blob was equal to a quarter note or “Ta” as we call it in our classroom. Two blobs are equal to two eighth notes or “Ti-ti” as we call it!
    • Speak and clap the rhythm together.
  • Repeat the above process a few times, then display to the students what a quarter note or Ta looks like in actual music notation.
  • Repeat this process with eighth notes and a quarter rest.
  • Now they take their crayon and write the actual notation above the rhythm dough! On laminated materials a crayon will erase using a dryer sheet.
  • Erase your rhythms, take off your blobs, listen, and notate once more!

My students LOVED this activity! It takes a lot of classroom control and patrolling around to ensure students are on task and learning the objectives, but by the end of class they are expert rhythm chefs!

How do you teach Rhythm in your classroom?
Do you acknowledge Valentine’s Day and teach around the theme?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Rudene February 19, 2013 at 10:08 am

Ashley, what a great ‘hands-on’ activity! I’ll be using this with my students, too. It’ll be a perfect addition to the Rhythm Selectah IWB lesson they’re loving.


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