Beat Tag (Meter) | Music Lesson Plan (Game)

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'Beat Tag' turns learning about meter and time signatures into a game that they'll beg to play again.


Grade 2-5


Students will gain an understanding of meter by experiencing accented and unaccented beats. This free lesson plan is designed to fulfill Standard #5 of the National Standards for Music Education: Reading and notating music.


Hand Drum with Mallet
White Board and Marker

'Beat Tag (Meter)' Music Lesson Plan

Step 1
Tell students that they are going to play a game that helps them understand meter/time signature.

Step 2
Begin with 3/4 meter. Play a 3 beat pattern on the drum by striking the drum head on beat 1 and the rim on beats 2 and 3. After repeating this pattern several times, ask students how many beats are in the pattern. Students should recognize the rhythmic pattern as a 3 beat pattern. Draw the 3/4 time signature (meter) on the whiteboard and explain that the top number tell us that the music is written in a 3 beat pattern.

Step 3
Ask the students to stomp their right foot on beat 1 and clap on beats 2 and 3 as you play the 3 beat pattern on the drum.

Step 4
Ask the students to move around the room, taking a step on beat one of each measure. Once everyone is stepping on beat 1 and clapping on beats 2 and 3 you are ready to start the game!

Step 5
Explain to them that they will be playing tag.

Choose two "Taggers". They will stand on one side of the room. The rest of the class will be "Players". They will start on the other side of the room. When the game begins the taggers and the players will step on beat 1 and clap on beats 2 and 3 (in 3/4 meter). When the tagger comes within range of a player they can tag them out. When a player is tagged out they must exit the game play area. The last player in the game wins.

Step 6
Play the game! The kids will love it and ask to do it again and again.

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