It is amazing what can be found in the dollar bins at Target. I found this gem, "Old Maid" which I easily adapted into a rhythm game.
I'll play this game with my new 3rd graders as a review in the Fall. Some of the words on the cards can be tricky, so I'd say you'd be most successful playing this game with 2nd or 3rd graders.
The good thing about this activity is that there are many ways (probably more than I've listed) to incorporate other subjects into this musical review lesson.
Materials: Old Maid card game (laminate for durability), black permanent marker, rhythm instrument (optional), pencil and paper for writing response (optional)
Here is a picture of the all the cards with the rhythms I assigned them. Depending on the level of difficulty, you could incorporate some 16th note patterns.
Basic Game Directions
Object: The players collect as many matching pairs as possible and avoid ending up with the Old Maid card.
Set-Up: Put students into groups of 4 (or less). Shuffle and deal out all the cards. If a player has any matching pairs in their deck, they place them in their own discard pile.
Gameplay: Players take turns picking a card from the hand of the player on their left. If a match is made, they put it in their discard pile. The game continues until only one player is left holding the card - the Old Maid card! They loose the game.
Variation: The player with the Old Maid at the end wins - and gets her "cookies" (pictured on her card).
1. Students must clap and chant the rhythm on each pair they create. Then, the group can clap and chant that student's rhythm.
2. Students can lay out their pairs when finished and clap and chant each pair. They can play their pairs on an unpitched rhythm instrument.
Language Arts Extensions
1. After the game is played, students place the cards face up, paired, in alphabetical order (as in the picture above). They then take turns reading the cards. You can also discuss the use of alliteration ("fashionable fox" - both start with f's).
2. Students can create their own card (you can use small index cards) by first creating a name ("Silly Swan" or "Tricky Turkey" etc) using an adjective and an animal name. Then, they can illustrate the animal. Finally, they can write the rhythms that correspond to their animal. This way, you can create a student-made set to play with in the future. I CAN'T WAIT TO DO THIS!
3. Have students respond (with paper and pencil) to the following writing prompt, "Which character would you most like to meet? What would you talk about?" (you can also create your own prompts)
1. Students can create a "bar graph" by graphing matching rhythms (see below). They can then discuss which rhythms had the most pairs, which had the fewest, and discuss the difference between them, add them together, subtract them, etc. (You could easily create a worksheet for them to log their answers, or put discussion questions on the board, such as "Which rhythm has second most pairs?")