This is my spin on a traditional educational game listed on many places on the Internet. I use it for rhythm, but the principal can be used for anything. My version is a little different. It’s for two players only (teacher vs. student). The kids love beating me, and they have yet to point out that they always win. It takes a bit of prep work to create the game in the first place, but absolutely no setup during or right before each lesson.
What You Need:
- Popsicle or craft sticks with rhythms (or whatever you’re drilling) written on one end
- You can buy different colors or sizes to make different levels of rhythms.
- All the rhythms are two measures long. I have mixed time signatures.
- A few sticks with “Zap It!” written on one end
- (Optional) A few sticks with “Instrument” written on one end, plus a selection of percussion instruments
- An opaque container to hold your sticks
How to Play:
- The student draws a stick. She identifies the time signature and then counts and claps that rhythm. If she gets it right, she keeps the stick.
- In reality, I have the kids do it again until they get it right, so they always keep the stick.
- As teacher, I draw a stick. I identify the time signature and then count and clap the rhythm. If I get it right, I keep the stick. If the student catches me getting it wrong, the student gets a chance to do it right. If the student gets it right, she can keep the stick instead of me.
- I do this strategically, not only to make sure they are paying attention during my turn, but also to ensure they always win the game.
- Alternate turns until someone draws a Zap It! stick. At that point, everyone counts their sticks. Whoever has the most sticks is the winner.
- If someone draws an Instrument stick, they draw another stick to get a rhythm and can choose a percussion instrument to use instead of clapping. They keep both sticks at the end of the turn.