teaching hacks // pool noodle rhythms

Today for one of my summer teacher projects I created this neat little rhythm activity for my elementary music classroom!

You will need:

  • pool noodles of different colors
  • a sharp knife
  • a cutting board
  • a permanent marker
  • a measuring tape or ruler
  • string, rhythm sticks, a jumprope, etc
  • clear nail polish

I was able to buy all of these items (that I didn’t already have at home) at Wal-Mart. Since it’s the middle of summer, pool noodles are only 94 cents a piece and you get a lot of material out of one noodle!

To create this activity

  1. Decide which color of noodle will be used for the measures and cut those into thin slices (mine are about 1/2 of an inch)
  2. Decide which color of noodle will be used for the music notes and rests. I chose to make all of mine the same color, but some people choose to make each note into a different color.
  3. Cut the notes with the same rhythmic value into the same length. I cut my quarter notes/quarter rests noodle pieces into one inch pieces, half notes/half rests into two inch pieces, and whole notes/rests into four inch pieces.
  4. I suggest painting over the notes with clear nail polish so that the permanent marker doesn’t wear off as easily.
  5. Have students assemble the rhythms onto a string, jumprope, broomstick, rhythm stick, etc to create their own rhythm patterns!
  6. Students can build upon this activity by scribing their rhythms onto staff paper, turning it into melodies, and performing those melodies for the class.

Let me know if you have any suggestions on how I can improve upon this activity or if you end up using it in your own classroom! (:

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