Bow Wow Wow is a super simple song and game that’s perfect for reviewing classroom procedures and practicing quarter rests.


In this circle game, students will eventually be partners with every student in class. This makes it a great ice-breaker for the beginning of the year. It also gives you the perfect opportunity to go over your procedures for working with partners

Students begin by standing in a single circle facing their partners.
Then, they’ll follow the actions for each line of the song.
Repeat the song until students are back in their original spot.

Bow wow wow!
Students stamp three times (right, left, right).

Whose dog art thou?
Clap hands together on “whose”, then point upward with right hand.

Little Tommy Tucker’s Dog.
Partners grab hands and quickly circle around.

Bow wow wow!
Students stamp three times, then turn around and face their new partner.

The video below is a great example of how this game is played.


This is a great song for practicing or reviewing quarter rests. I know many teachers who develop their own physical motions to represent rests. I find this helpful for two reasons. First, it helps students to actually read the rest, rather than just passing over it. Also, the motion can fit with the beat, which helps students keep a steady tempo during the rests.

Here are a few motions you can try to show rests in your own classroom:

  • Put finger to lips in shushing motion
  • Cross forearms diagonally (in clapping motion without the contact)
  • Pat an invisible wall in front of you
  • If working with mallets, do an “air strike” on the invisible wall



  • If you’re looking for writing practice, check out my blog post called Rhythms with Stickers. It’s a fun way for students to practice rhythm writing, and it includes a free template for the activity.
  • If you’re looking for another game to practice quarter rest, you can try the Rhythm Chairs Game. It’s a fantastic way for students to visualize how beats and rhythms fit together. Plus, it gets students up and moving to really feel the concept.

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