"King of the Mountain" is a very fun rhythm practice game that I learned from Lamar Robertson when I very first started teaching. Of course, I started trying to implement it without having all my Kodály levels and I have since refined the way I teach it.
Here are the basic concepts of the game:
students are seated in a circle, with “King of the Mountain” cards in front of them (folded in half and propped up like a tent- this enables the student to see their card and for players on the other side of the circle to see the card as well)
- One student is designated the King/Queen. The person to the King’s right is the next highest player on the mountain (one position lower on the mountain than the king); the person to that person’s right is the one position lower etc., all the way around the circle with the player to the king’s left being the lowest player on the mountain. In other words, as you progress around the circle from the king’s right, you go “down” the mountain (you get lower and lower on the mountain). The goal of the game is to work your way up to the top of the mountain and be in the king’s position.
- The king starts the play by reading his/her card, with a steady beat. Without missing a beat the king must then read another player’s card. The player who’s card is read must then read their card and then another player’s card and so on until someone makes an error. The rhythms on the card must be read with a steady beat and without missing a beat.
- If a player makes a mistake (for example, misses a beat, reads a rhythm wrong, says their card out of turn) that player goes to the bottom position on the mountain (the seat to the king’s right) and all players “lower on the mountain” that that player advance up a position. ** THE CARDS ARE FIXED IN THEIR POSITION- THE CARDS DO NOT MOVE, only the players change position. The king starts the play again, once everyone has changed position.
- The end of the game is determined by the length of time the teachers wants to designate to the game.
- Have students must clap their rhythms, in addition to saying them. This is much harder then just saying their rhythms.
- To “Up the Ante”, have students clap only their rhythms.
- Instead of using standing cards, cut the cards in half and have the students read the cards from the floor. This challenges students to read cards on the other side of the room that are upside down and backwards- this is a higher level thinking task. But, this is also visually harder with large groups
As I mentioned before, when I first started I had no clue as to what I was doing. I had every rhythm imaginable in the game and it was a mess. I redid them a few years ago and really used them to focus on practicing a specific rhythmic element. Those cards have been starting to look pretty bad so I recently made new versions of the games, here are some examples of four Syn-co-pa cards:
I'm going to print them out on card stock and then they will be folded along the dotted line so that they stand up.
You can find the following sets on my Teachers Pay Teachers page:
Additionally, I have made some glynniss' games that I will be posting at my TpT store and will be writing a blog post about tomorrow. If you follow Aileen Miracle's AMAZING blog, you'll see that she posted about this yesterday and she has some "I have/Who has" files at her store (and she has a freebie!). Make sure you follow her, both on her blog and at her TpT store, she has some great ideas!!!
Have a great weekend everyone!