Green Sally Up is a fantastic clapping game for your elementary music students, with plenty of opportunity to practice steady beat. Bb is the only chord needed for this song, but because of the tricky fingering, I don’t recommend it. Instead pull out your Orff instruments and have students practice different borduns, such as chord, broken, level, or arpeggiated. Check out Teaching With Orff for examples of each.
Rhythm Sticks Game
The clapping game is incredibly simple, which makes it a great choice for younger students. But the clapping game can easily be turned into a rhythm sticks game. Download the game visuals below to project onto your interactive whiteboard. A huge thanks to SillyODesign for the amazing clipart that I used in the visuals!
- Single Blue Stick: right hand, click stick with partner’s
- Blue and Red Stick: click both sticks with partner’s
- Single Red Stick: left hand, click stick with partner’s
Once your students have grown comfortable with the game, they can create variations of their own. You could even pull out your buckets and get some bucket drumming in. Here are a few ideas for variations:
- Single Blue Stick: right hand, tap on bucket
- Blue and Red Stick: click both sticks together
- Single Red Stick: left hand, tap stick on bucket
- Single Blue Stick: right hand, tap stick on left shoe
- Blue and Red Stick: click both sticks high in the air
- Single Red Stick: left hand, tap stick on right shoe
Why not break your students into even more groups and include some Orff Instruments? This is really handy for those that don’t have enough Orff Instruments to go around. Visit this site for examples of different borduns to try with your students. This would be an easy way to differentiate, and a great way to show your admin (during those dreaded observations) what amazing things your students can do!