Sight Reading Rhythm Patterns
By: David Reeve
Instructor: Dr. Cris Guenter

GRADE LEVEL: First or second grade

APPROXIMATE TIME: 50-60 minutes


LESSON TOPIC: Sight reading, auditory discrimination and verbal
chanting of rhythm patterns.

Artistic Perception
Students will demonstrate ability to sight read rhythms
containing half, quarter and eighth notes and quarter rests; by
clapping and chanting rhythms written on chart 1.

Students will demonstrate ability to auditorily discriminate
these rhythm patterns by listening to them performed by the
teacher (clap and chant) and then repeating them in an echo

Students will demonstrate ability to auditorily discriminate and
sight read rhythm patterns by listening to the teacher perform
the patterns and then match it to a rhythm on their charts.

Creative Expression
Students will create a rhythm pattern, eight beats long, using
half, quarter and eighth notes and quarter rests. They will
then combine their patterns into a group composition and then
perform it.

RATIONALE: Pattern recognition is a vital skill in critical thinking,
particularly in problem solving. Through beat and rhythm patterns
recognition we can lay down some of the beginning ground work for
students to begin to recognize patterns.

STRATEGY: Direct Instruction and Guided Discovery

Reeve, R. Fine Arts Lesson EDUC 229B

VOCABULARY: Half, Quarter and Eighth Notes and Quarter Rests.
*Note that the vocabulary assumes that the meter is 4/4.
Half note- A note having the value of two beats. (taa)
Quarter note- A note having the value of one beat. (ta)
Eighth note- A note having the value of half a beat. (ti)
Quarter rest-A rest lasting for the same duration as a quarter
note. (silence)

1. Have students sit in circle on floor.
2. Teach variety of four beat rhythm patterns in echo fashion;
chant and clap rhythms.
3. Review notation of half, quarter, eighth notes and quarter
rests, by writing a four beat pattern on the board and ask
student to label the notes and rest.
4. Review chanting of quarter, eighth and half notes(ta, ti and
taa) by having student label four beat rhythm pattern
with ta, ti and taa.

1. "Which One Do You Hear?"
Clap and chant rhythm patterns on chart one, students
locate the pattern on the chart.
2. Have student find rhythm pattern and raise hand when
found. The student will then perform the pattern by
clapping while the class keeps quite steady beat for
performing student.
3. Rhythm Bingo
Students write four rhythm patterns from chart one, on
the back of their page.
4. Teacher performs rhythm patterns from chart one.
5. Students look to see if the performed pattern is on their
paper. If it is, student marks the rhythm pattern with "x".
6. When a student has marked all of their rhythm patterns
they call out "rhythm bingo."
7. Student then performs their rhythm patterns so the class
can check them.

CLOSURE: Students identify the half, quarter and eighth notes and
quarter rests by writing them on the board again.

11-4-96 Page 2 of 3 Guenter

Reeve, R. Fine Arts Lesson EDTE 229B

Rhythm Train
1. Students compose an eight beat rhythm pattern on 8.5x11 sheets
of paper using half, quarter and eighth notes and quarter rests.
Students must use at least three of the available notes in their
2. The compositions will be placed in front of the whole class in
groups of four. These groups of four will be called train cars.
The teacher will have a train engine in the front of the group of
cards and a train caboose at the end.
3. Each train car group will go in front of the class and perform their

*The teacher should be aware of how the compositions are put
together so as to avoid an awkward beginning and end.

Rhythm chart containing various rhythm patterns using half,
quarter and eighth notes and quarter rests.
8.5x11 sheets of paper for each student.
A train engine and caboose, drawn on an 8.5x11 sheet of
Marking pens for each student.

Assigned students will clean up markers and rhythm charts and
return them to their proper place(will be determined by teacher).
Leave the Rhythm Train up to help enhance the student's learning
environment. At a later date, return the compositions to their

This lesson can be adapted K-4. It can be reinforced continually by
the teacher if they use clapping patterns to get the attention of the
students. This can and should be used as a stepping stone for
students to continue learning how to read music,

Hand outs from Music 152 taught by Jan Rapley, California State
University, Chico.

11-4-96 Page 3 of 3 Guenter