Plainsies, Clapsies is a fun game to practice beat and pitch. For the game, any small/medium sized ball will do. Tennis balls, foam balls, or even hacky sacks would work. You’ll need enough balls for each student to have one. If you don’t have that many, you can always try the passing game I describe below. This song would be perfect for first grade, but I think it would work well in second grade too. It really depends on your situation. You know your students best!
Throw the ball up and catch it; throw the ball up, clap hands, catch it, and so on.
- Students could simply throw and catch the ball to the beat for an easier version.
- Play it as a passing game, where students sit on the floor and pass a single ball around the circle to the beat. The student holding the ball at the end of the song is out. The students who get out, go on to create their own circle (so that all students are actively practicing the beat).
Start by having your students create their own musical staff. All they’ll need is a piece of paper, a writing utensil, and a ruler or other straight-edge. Have them write their names on the back, so that they can use the staff again. Students are more likely to treat the paper carefully and not tear it up if it’s personalized. For today’s purpose, I’m using a two-line staff and labeling the lines as high and low.
As with all lessons involving manipulatives, I find it helpful to have students play an active game first. This way, they’ve released some physical energy and are better prepared to focus on more intricate, hands-on tasks. How do you structure lessons with manipulatives? Please share your experiences in the comments section. I’d love to learn more about your classroom!