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Keeping the Rhythm With This Physical Education Lesson Plan

written by: Marlene Gundlach • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 8/20/2014

Working with rhythms is a fun way to work on movement and balance. It also introduces students to the musical skill of making rhythms. This Physical Education lesson plan will let you do just that!

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    Here are the objectives covered by this lesson plan: Dance and Rhythm 

    • To make rhythms in time with music.
    • To name different types of rhythmic movement.
    • To echo the rhythmic patterns of others.

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    • Something to write on that can be seen by the entire group such as a chalkboard or chart paper.
    • Balls, hoops, mats, or other props
    • Tape or CD player
    • Music, choose something with varying tempos and rhythms

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    Discuss with students the different ways they can make rhythms. On the board or chart paper, have students list at least 10-12 different ways to make a rhythm. They can include simple things like snapping their fingers or dribbling a ball. Have students practice humming or clapping the rhythm of simple rhymes.

    Making and Keeping Rhythms

    Make sure each student can see the list of movements. Have the students get into pairs. One student should make a rhythm using the suggestions on the board or some original ideas of their own. The other student should then try and echo the rhythm of their partner. Give each student several tries at making an original rhythm. They may use props of any kind or the mats. You can then play the music and have the pairs work together to produce a series of movements that keep in time with the music. If time permits, allow them to share their rhythms with the class and challenge the class to echo them.

    Easy Options

    • Make the list shorter for fewer options.
    • Allow students to make up a pattern of rhythms without the use of music.

    Challenge Options

    • Require that the students use a prop during their making a rhythm routine, like a ball, mat, hoop or other available objects.

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    Discuss with students which movements were the easiest to do along with the music. Also, see if they preferred to follow faster music or music that followed a slower rhythm. To assess these Physical Education lesson plans, watch the students perform the movements as they follow the rhythm.

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    Link to Math

    Tempo of Music

    • Provide students with copies of a piece of sheet music, at least one with 2/4 time and one with 4/4. Point out how the fractions relate to the music and its tempo. If song books are available, have students look for other examples.

    Link to Science

    Anatomy of Movement

    • Ask students to choose two of the movements performed in these fun Physical Education lesson plans. Have them name the muscles used in those activities.