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April 10th, 2009
Lesson Plan 2: We've Got Rhythm

National Standards for Arts Education: Music

Content Standard 4: Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines
Grades 5-8 Achievement Standard

  • Students compose short pieces within specified guidelines (e.g., a particular style, form, instrumentation, compositional technique), demonstrating how the elements of music are used to achieve unity and variety, tension and release, and balance
  • Students use a variety of traditional and nontraditional sound sources and electronic media when composing and arranging

Content Standard 6: Listening to, analyzing, and describing music
Grades 5-8 Achievement Standard

  • Students demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of meter, rhythm, tonality, intervals, chords, and harmonic progressions in their analyses of music

National Science Standards

National Science Education Standards, Grades 5-8

LIFE SCIENCE: Content Standard C
As a result of their activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop understanding of Regulation and Behavior

  • Behavior is one kind of response an organism can make to an internal or environmental stimulus. A behavioral response requires coordination and communication at many levels, including cells, organ systems, and whole organisms. Behavioral response is a set of actions determined in part by heredity and in part from experience.

For each group of 2-3 students:

  • 1 computer or rhythm instruments (such as drums) to create a variety of rhythms

For the class:

  • Items for the “This is a What?” introductory activity. Collect one object per student. Objects should be relatively small and easy to say quickly. Here are some examples: pen, book, pencil, card, book, watch, cup, fork, spoon, plate, cap, phone, etc. If you do not have enough items, ask each student to bring an object to use in the game or use more than one example of the same object (for example, more than one pen).

Students will be able to:

  • Define “rhythm” and provide examples of how rhythm is present in our lives.
  • Describe ways that humans respond to rhythm and cite examples of how rhythm can help patients.
  • Define “synchronization” and discuss whether this is a uniquely human ability.
  • Define “syncopation.”
  • Identify and provide examples of syncopated and non-syncopated rhythms.
  • Create their own rhythms, using hands, feet and/or online tools.


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