Sunday, April 1, 2012

On your mark, get set, GO!

Lines and Spaces Relay Races is a favorite game for my students which uses the large floor staves mentioned in the previous post, and is another activity I have found that non-music substitutes can usually handle doing with classes.

For this games I split the class into 2 teams and use 2 floor staves with each team lined up behind one of the floor staves. Again, we review the lines and spaces before beginning the game. It is best if there is some space or room between the first person in each line and the bottom edge of the staves or it's not much of a relay race and isn't nearly as fun.

The first person in each team stands (by their team's line, not near the floor staff). The teacher calls out a note (such as space F, or line B) and then says, "On your mark, get set, go!" Only then can the two students run to the staff and pace their feet in the correct space or on the correct line. The team to get to the correct note first gets 2 points, and if the other team gets the answer correct they get one point. Important rule, the note you touch first is the note that counts, so if the first student to the staff stands in the wrong place, they are eliminated and can't get any points. However, if they run to the staff, don't touch the staff but stand below or beside the staff to think, and then move to the correct note, then they can earn points for their team. No one on the teams may help their runners find the answer by yelling out or pointing, or the team loses points for that turn.

For the 2nd turn of the game and all remaining turns, the student who just went stays standing by the staff until the new note is called and the teacher again says, "on your mark, get set, go" and then these students must run back to their team's line, tag the next person in line, and then that team member runs forward to their team's staff in order to find the new note...thus relay races.Winning team is the one with the most points at the end. I try to play until each students has had 2 turns if possible.

Alternate relay race...
One way to truly make it a relay race that does work is to give each team a set of cards that say the names of all of the lines and spaces on them (Line E, Space E, etc.). Have the teams spread the cards on the floor in front of their line. The teacher says "On your mark, get set, go" and the race begins. The first students picks any note card, runs to the floor staff, and places the note name on the correct line or space (helpful to put tap on cards so they don't accidentally get moved as new students run up to play). Game continues as that student runs back and tags the next person in line, who runs forward to place another note name. Students may either place a new card during their turn, OR they may run up and correct a note name that was placed incorrectly on the staff instead.

The team that has placed all of their note name cards first sits down and waits for the second team to finish. The teacher then must check to see that the first team actually named all of their notes correctly. If they did, they win. If they didn't, the teacher checks the second team's notes, and if they are correct, they win instead. If both teams have incorrect notes, both teams stand. The teacher tells them how many notes are wrong (decide if you want to tell them which notes are the wrong ones) and the race begins again with the purpose of correcting wrong notes in order to find a winner. The team that fixes wrong notes fastest then wins.

This game, as you can imagine, can get rowdy. Before you start the game decide your rules about noise and such. Sometimes I give or take points based on behavior. Or, if you don't want the rowdiness, play the first version of this game which is more controlled.

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