Grade: Elementary
Subject: Mathematics

#714. Fractions and Drumming

Mathematics, level: Elementary
Posted Sun Nov 22 09:31:51 PST 1998 by chris byron (
abc charter public school, calgary, alberta, canada
Materials Required: cracked water cooler containers -- you know the plastic ones (free from the supplier)
Activity Time: take it as long as you want
Concepts Taught: fractions - an M.I. link through music

Review the values of the various notes in 4/4 time (I had been clapping this with the class to prep them) We would just echo one another.
and further with older students.

You may also want to include rests too.

Show the notation for each.

After a little messing around with the water containers (drums) -- to get all the p.v. out of their systems --
I demonstrated (on overhead) how to compose a simple rhythm. I then had them count the number of beats with me. Stress that
each note represents a fraction of a whole.

We then went to composing. The students composed a short piece and wrote it down. They shared them. We also had students
play polyrhythms by playing their compositions at the same time.

For each song we looked at what the student wrote to ensure it was written correctly.

That's about it. It was a good time. Some kids understood the concept and others simply enjoyed making some noise. At the very least
it gave those with music backgrounds a moment to shine.