April 10th, 2009
Lesson Plan 2: We've Got Rhythm
Overview of "We've Got Rythm"

Lesson Title: We’ve Got Rhythm
[Download this lesson plan as a PDF]

Grade level: 5-8

Topic/Subject Matter: Music

Time Allotment: Two to three 45-minute class periods

Overview: THE MUSIC INSTINCT showcases the research and discovery process of scientists whose work focuses on the interrelationship between music and science. Music is a topic that is very accessible and familiar to young people, and can be used as a topic for simple experiments that students design. In this lesson, students will explore the ways in which humans create and respond to rhythm, using examples from THE MUSIC INSTINCT as a guide.

The lesson begins with a fun game that challenges students to maintain a steady rhythm. Students will then brainstorm ways in which rhythm is present in their body and the world around them. In the Learning Activities, students will view segments from the MUSIC INSTINCT program and examine ways that hospitals are using music and rhythm to help patients. Students will learn about synchronizing to music (moving in time to a beat) and reflect upon whether this is a uniquely human skill. Students will then view a clip of a cockatoo synchronizing to music. Students will then learn about syncopation and view a video segment illustrating a syncopated beat. Students will then explore an interactive where they try to identify syncopated and non-syncopated rhythms. The lesson ends with students experimenting with rhythm and creating their own syncopated and non-syncopated rhythms using their hands, feet, simple rhythm instruments and/or an online interactive featuring animal sounds.


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