I LOVE doing body beats with my students. There is nothing like full engagement when it comes to this rhythm activity!
I thought I would kick off this post with a little Stomp. Love Stomp! One of these days I will actually see them live!
Body beat or body percussion activities is one of my favorite activities to do with students. The great thing is you don’t have to worry about any instruments! Our body is the instrument! Students can clap, snap, stomp, pat or click. Body beat activities also work well if you are needing a quick activity to end your class. It can be as quick or long as you need it to be. Here are 10 body beat activities that you can try with your students today.
Copy cat is super easy and you don’t need any materials. Simply clap, snap, stomp… a rhythm pattern and have them copy it back!
Everyone loves a game of Simon Says! Why not do “Simon says” and then clap, snap… a body beat? Again, no materials is necessary for this activity. This is like copy cat but with a Simon Says twist.
Why not combine chants while students are doing their body beats. I enjoyed this video where the chant was telling them exactly what to do and helping them internalize the steady beat.
Call and Answer Improv
Another easy activity I love to do is improvisations. The teacher can start off by being the caller and then point to a student you want to answer. Each call and answer should be unique. After you feel they are comfortable, have a student be the caller and pick another student to respond. Go around until everyone has had a turn. No materials needed.
I Have, Who Has?
I enjoy doing a clapping version of I Have, Who Has? Students are given a card and claps the rhythm they have and then claps another rhythm asking Who Has? Then that student responds by clapping that pattern and it goes around until the last card. Here is an example of what it would look like…
Students take turns picking a rhythm (you can use any rhythm cards you have) and create a body beat using that rhythm. Go around in round robin style.
Body Beat Game (Round Robin with a Twist)
The body beat game is a round robin with a twist. First, you will need to think of a rhythmic pattern you will want everyone to clap when it is time. Start out your activity the way you would start out a typical round robin. But somewhere in the mix of cards have a “different” card (it could have the words “body beat” on them or a music symbol or…). When a student comes upon this card they shout “body beat” (or whatever you want) and everyone claps the same pattern you had chosen in advance. Then it goes back to the round robin.
Body beats do take some coordination which is another benefit for doing them. I enjoyed this short video of a simple (or is it?) body beat students did together in a circle. This is a great activity to use as a warm-up or a closing activity. Or maybe just need to get some wiggles out?
One of the many benefits of body beat activities is that it takes complete concentration. Students must listen and focus to be successful. I thought I would share a video I did a couple years ago that explains this activity a little better. The video is actually showing my Christmas body beat game but you can take the same idea and do it with any words you want to use. In the video after I explain how the game works, I show some of my students in action.
If you aren’t familiar with clapping music, you must watch this video.
And for fun…
Whether you want to use body beats for a full lesson activity or as a time filler, students absolutely love them! They are fully engaged in the activities and are having so much fun! I know that I have just as much fun as they do!
I’ll leave you with a little teacher tip…
Looking for more ways to engage your students and activate their brain? I would invite you to take a look at my course, Activate the Brain; Engaged Learning Strategies that Work! There is a bundle of printable resources included as a bonus!