Rhythm Cards

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Clapping rhythm cards is a great way to get students in all grades reading many different kinds of notes and rests. By moving in a developmentally appropriate sequence, these twelve levels progress from simple rhythms like quarter notes and quarter rests to complicated rhythms like 2 sixteenth/1 eighth note pairs. To make it more fun play an accompaniment track in the background (the Popcorn song for example) which will help your kids stay together on a steady beat. If showing the cards on screen, click to the next slide on beat four of every measure. This will give your students just enough of a preview to successfully transition between cards. See below for a list of rhythms found in each level:

Level 1- quarter notes, quarter rests

Level 2- quarter notes, eighth notes

Level 3- quarter notes, quarter rests, eighth notes

Level 4- quarter notes, quarter rests, broken eighth notes (this distinction is important when syncopating rhythms)

Level 5- quarter notes, eighth notes, half notes

Level 6- half notes, half rests

Level 7- whole notes, whole rests

Level 8- quarter notes, eighth notes, sixteenth notes

Level 9- quarter notes, quarter rests, eighth notes, dotted half note

Level 10- quarter notes, eighth notes, triplet notes

Level 11- quarter notes, eighth notes, half notes, half rests, 1 eighth/2 sixteenth note pairs

Level 12- quarter notes, eighth notes, half notes, half rests, 2 sixteenth/1 eighth note pairs

Before progressing from one level to the next make sure your students understand what each rhythm is called, how many beats it takes up, and how each note or rest should be clapped. I suggest using motions even on the rests to fill the space of each beat. Notice that beats are represented by hearts and that the downbeat is slightly larger than the rest. This distinction will become important in the future when moving into 6/8 time. You can find more rhythm cards in 3/4 and 6/8 time at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Good luck!


-Notes to the teacher

-Rhythm chart listing 13 notes and rests

-46 rhythm cards separated into 12 levels

-Next Steps

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