Rhythm Tic-Tac-Toe | Free Music Lesson Plan (Rhythm)

from the Lesson Zone


Grade 1-6


Students will demonstrate an understanding of simple rhythms by reading and performing rhythms to win tic-tac-toe squares in this musical twist on the classic "Tic-Tac-Toe" game. This lesson is designed to fulfill Standard #5 of the National Standards for Music: Reading and notating music.


White Board

'Rhythm Tic-Tac-Toe' Music Lesson Plan

Step 1
Draw the nine box game board on the white board.

Step 2
Write a four beat rhythm in each of the nine boxes appropriate to the skill level of the class. Quarter notes, eighth notes and quarter rests work well with primary age classes.

Step 3
Practice each rhythm by modeling it for the class. Give a few students the opportunity to demonstrate the rhythm for the class before you model it. Quiz students periodically on the last rhythm you practiced.

Step 4
Divide the class into two (2) teams and then ask them to find a partner. Boys vs. Girls always works well.

Step 5
Assign the 'X' to one team and the 'O' to the other. Then select the team who will begin the game.

Game Instructions

From the starting team, invite the first pair to the white board. Ask them to select a rhythm from the tic-tac-toe game board. Tell them that they will have an opportunity to practice the rhythm before they perform it for the class.

When they are ready, count off 1-2-3-4.

If they clap the rhythm correctly their team will receive an 'X' or 'O' in the square. If they clap the rhythm incorrectly, no 'X' or 'O' will be placed in the square.

Teams alternate whether the rhythm is clapped correctly or not.

Repeat inviting pair after pair to the white board until either team achieves Tic-Tac-Toe-Three-in-a-Row or the game ends in a cat's game.

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