Going Fishin’ with Notes and Rests!

by Abby @ Quaver on November 23, 2015

in At Quaver HQ

Today we welcome Tammy Thiele back to the Quaver Music Blog! Tammy is a wonderful teacher from Irving, TX and a member of our Quaver Advisory Council. 

Take it away, Tammy!


I’ve been using Quaver’s Curriculum in my classroom for 2 years now, and I’m continually surprised at the rich depth of content available not just in every lesson, but on every screen!

Here’s one way I unpack a single activity in the Curriculum to reinforce an important concept for my first graders:

In Quaver’s 1st Grade Curriculum, Lesson 19 is titled “Welcome to Sound and Rests.” In this lesson you’ll find a fun, interactive game that improves students’ ability to correctly differentiate between note and rest symbols. Since the weather is starting to get rainy and cooler even here in Texas, I start this lesson by telling my students we’re going to create our own outdoor fun inside our music classroom . . .

We’re going fishing!

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 4.16.22 PM

Here’s how “Notes and Rests Fishing” works:

  • Students catch a fish and then tell me whether the fish has a note or rest on it.
  • A point is given for each correct answer.
  • If answered incorrectly, the fish is thrown back into the pond.

Now that you get the general idea, let’s dig into the specifics of how I use “Notes and Rest Fishing:”

Simple instructions can also be found in the NOTES tab of slide #12, “Notes and Rests Fishing.”

Materials Needed:

  • Packing tape
  • Scissors
  • Dowel rod
  • Button magnet
  • Large paper clips
  • Duct tape

1) Select 1st grade, Lesson 19 – Sounds and Rests

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 3.54.57 PM


Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 4.00.42 PM


I print two sets so students have several opportunities to grasp the activity’s objective!

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 3.44.10 PM
4) Cut out the fish

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 3.46.36 PM
5) Cover the top of the fish with clear packing tape

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 3.38.19 PM
6) Turn the fish over

Place a large paper clip on the back center of the fish, then another piece of packing tape over that side.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 3.39.54 PM
7) Trim the excess tape

To keep the fish together, leave a small edge of tape around the fish.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 3.41.01 PM

8) Make the fishing rod

Tie a long string to the top of a dowel rod, and attach the string to the rod with a small strip of tape. Wrap duct tape around the section above and below the string to prevent it from sliding. You can even create a handle grip with the duct tape.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 3.49.57 PM

9) Attach a magnet to the string

Tie the other end of the string around a button magnet. Wrap the sting and magnet with duct tape and trim the excess edges.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 10.39.27 AM

10) Go Fish!

Put your fish face down in a bucket or box, and go fish! The magnet will attach to the paper clip on the back of each fish for guaranteed success for your student fishermen.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 3.48.42 PM

After doing the activity a few times, I’ve come up with a couple variations you might want to try:

  1. A Friendly Competition:
    If you want to add a competitive spin, break the class into two teams.
  2. For Older Students:
    You can use the game as an assessment and ask them to name the note or rest value of each fish they uncover. I’m sure they’ll have just as much fun as the 1st graders!


What do you think? Will your students be going fishing anytime soon? How might you adapt “Notes and Rest Fishing” to other grade levels?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Katie November 23, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Great Activity. I just finished review notes and rests with my 3rd graders. They would love to play this! The teams idea is great for a little friendly competition.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: