Monday, February 3, 2014

Treble Triumph

Hey all!  Have I got another great game for you! It comes from a resources I shared about a year ago called Match Mine. This resource is filled with so many ways to play the same game.  It's basically like Musical Battleship. You can do instruments (classroom or orchestra), rhythms, form, key signatures, orff bar set-ups, symbols, intervals, solfege, etc...this list goes on and on!

Materials: Match Mine book (for game board and pieces) click here for where to purchase; file folders, paper clip, and a means to store materials (I used a small ziploc for the game pieces, and a large one to hold it all, and then a magazine box to store ALL the game boards.
NOTE: The game boards are on white cardstock and the game pieces are in two colors for the players printed on colored cardstock for durability. Plus the pieces take some time to cut out and prep for the game. So plan for plenty of time to make materials!

In this game I was having students practice identifying pitches on the staff with 3rd graders. I use the Freddie the Frog books by Sharon Burch. If you are unfamiliar with Freddie the Frog, please check it out at There are so many wonderful things that are in these books! I highly recommend them! In 3rd grade I am having the kids practice all the notes on "Treble Clef Island," but also learn the age old tricks (F-A-C-E and Every Good Boy Does Fine) to assist them in identifying pitches. It is my hope that these kiddos know their pitch names well so that in 4th grade they are prepared for recorder.

So here's how you play!
1. Students need to set-up their game boards with the file folders acting as a barrier, using the paperclip to hold the top together.
2. They then need to lay on their bellies to be sure not to peek over the top!
3. Decide who will be the "Sender" and who will be the "Receiver."
4. The "Sender" places their pieces randomly on the game board (which is really the music staff) and then they need to tell their partner where to place their pieces. "Put your 1st one on line note E...Put your next one on space note A...etc."
5. The receiver then needs to place their pieces in the correct spots.
6. When they are finished they compare boards...hopefully the Sender was clear and correct on where to put things, and the Receiver knew where to place theirs and they Match! If they do not match, they need to figure out where they made mistakes.
7. They then switch jobs and play again.

The challenge with this game is not only knowing where their notes are, but also in communicating them correctly and clearly! This resource comes from one that my ELL teachers shared with me. With how high my ELL population is, I try to do activities that helps develop their language skills (which in turn helps English speakers with their communication skills as well!)

My students really enjoyed playing this game and when walking around, they really seemed to understand where the pitches were, but I found myself assisting on how to communicate to the partner clearly so they could have their game boards match at the end. This is a game that I did when I felt students could practice their knowledge of pitch names independently. It could work well as a center for kids to play together. This would also be a great game to use as a review prior to any assessment as well.