• Grade 3: Rhythm and Meter

  • Composing in Simple and Compound Meters

    Aim: How can we create and perform rhythmic patterns in simple and compound meters?
    Summary: Students compose and notate short rhythms in 4/4, 3/4, and 6/8 meters across multiple class periods.
    Standards: US 2, 3, 4, 5; NYC 1, 2, 3
    Modality: performing, creating
    Materials: Student Worksheets
    Time Required: 20 minutes
    This activity is part of: Music Educators Toolbox

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  • Instructions   |   Going Deeper   |   Video   |   Assessment
  • MET K Instructions Rhythm
    1. Listen to musical examples featuring 4/4, 3/4, and 6/8 time and direct students to move to the beat.
    2. Review time signatures and note values using the worksheets below.
      MET G3 TW Composing Simple and Complex
      Download Teacher Worksheet:
      Review Simple and Compound Rhythms
    3. As a class, create several examples of 4/4, 3/4, and/or 6/8 rhythmic patterns by getting suggestions from individual students. Write out each pattern on the board and then practice clapping and repeating the rhythm as a class.
    4. Have students work in small groups to compose their own 4/4, 3/4, or 6/8 measures by completing the Student Worksheet below. Invite students to teach their rhythms to the class.
      MET G3 SW Composing Rhythm
      Download Student Worksheet:
      Composing Rhythm
  • MET K Going Deeper Rhythm
    1. Have each small group add body percussion to their rhythms (e.g., snap for quarter-notes, pat shoulders for eighth-notes, etc.).
    2. Try clapping all of the newly composed 4/4, 3/4, or 6/8 measures in a row without repeats. Decide on an order that seems the most interesting and musically rich.
    3. Have students add pitches to their rhythms to create melodic compositions.
  • MET K Video Rhythm

  • Activity Exemplar: “Compose in Simple and Compound Meters”

    Summative Assessment Exemplar: “Improvise a Rhythm”

    Summative Assessment Exemplar: “Transcribe a Rhythm”