To work on rhythm and to try something new, Ladybugs, Zebras, Bears, Wranglers, Rockets, and Penguins are playing Boomwackers. Boomwackers are tuned plastic percussion tubes and we are playing on a diatonic set of 8 (C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C).
When I introduced the Boomwackers, I showed students that these are to be played gently on any parts of the body or the ground and not for hitting on chairs or friends. We talked about the different colors and letters that are on each respective Boomwacker with the longer tubes having a lower sound and the smaller tubes with a higher sound.
Students each picked their own boomwacker, some choosing their favorite color and some choosing a letter that is significant to them, because it is in their name. In a rhythm copy game, I played eight steady beats on different parts of my body and the students copied me: shoes, shins, knees, thighs, stomach, shoulders, elbow, hand, and head. The students produced the steady beat and felt it as they played on their own body, getting the sensory input of what they are doing.
Students enjoyed working on rhythm in a new manner by playing it on their body. They all did a great job following and I gave many of them the chance to be our leader to choose where on the body we played. To mix it up, I had students play on syllables of our names, such as mine: Hil-ar-y Yip, adding different rhythms to each student’s name for a challenge. All did very well in listening and imitating the rhythm. Boomwackers are great for working body coordination, attending skills, and imitation skills. Plus, because Boomwackers’ sounds are soft, it encourages students to put on their listening ears to hear the sounds they are playing.