St, Patty's Day Poison Games

Poison is a game that I learned WAY back in college.  The year that I graduated (cough, cough, '98) the MENC (now the NAfME) conference was in Arizona.  My mom and I went and I actually spent a great deal of time at the job fair, interviewing for various school districts (this is a whole blog post in itself).  At any rate, at one of the sessions, a presenter taught us the game poison and she taught it as an aural rhythmic recognition game.  She would clap a rhythm, the kids would clap it back.  Then they would clap it together and then she would have them clap it themselves.  Then she told them that that particular rhythm was now poisoned and that she was going to clap a series of rhythm patterns.  They were to clap all the patterns back but if they heard the poisoned rhythm, they were not to clap that pattern.  If they did clap that pattern, they were out and had to sit down.

During the course of my teaching I have learned to play this game in more ways that the original way I learned it (but I must say, the "original way" is a quick, easy time-filler that requires NO flashcards or PowerPoint's).

I thought it would be fun, for my kiddos, to create a holiday spin on this game.  There are a couple ways to play it: as a PowerPoint game or as a flashcard game.  

Here's a synopsis of the PowerPoint game:
 The students first see this slide:

Then they are given the rhythm that is poisoned or the "Leprechaun's Rhythm":  They are NOT to clap this rhythm when they see the slides (but we do practice it a few times to get it in every one's ear):

The students then see/read a series of slides (I have them stand up to play this game).  I say "one, two, ready, read" and then they either read the slides out loud (if it's NOT the poisoned rhythm) or in their heads (if it IS the poisoned rhythm):

 Up until now they would have been reading all the slides out loud.  When they see this slide, they **should** read the slide in their head.
After the slide with the poisoned rhythm is a reminder slide stating that the previous rhythm was the Leprechaun's rhythm:
 If they clapped or said the Leprechaun's rhythm they are out and must sit down.  I want to keep my kiddos engaged in the activity when they are out, so I have them pick up a die cut shamrock before they sit down (you can also pick up two packages of foam shamrocks at the Dollar Tree- it's a GREAT time saver.)  When they are out, they still participate by holding up their shamrock if they read a rhythm that is NOT the poisoned rhythm and putting their shamrock down on the floor if they see the poisoned rhythm.

I have created poisoned rhythm slides for all the patterns so that I can interchange and mix up which rhythm pattern in poisoned.  It takes about 3 minutes to manipulate the PowerPoint and presto, they are practicing a new pattern.  In the file at my Teachers Pay Teachers store I've included the JPEG files so all you have to do is drop them onto a blank slide to create new poison pattern games.

You can also play this game with flashcards.  By printing out the following flashcards, you would put one of them up on the board.  You would tell the students that this is the Leprechaun's rhythm, or the poisoned rhythm.  I then tell them that I am going to clap or play a rhythmic pattern and that they are to echo all the pattern, except if they hear the poisoned rhythm.  They DO NOT clap that pattern back.
 As they get better at this game, you can add an additional rhythm that is poisoned.  This means that the students will then echo all patterns except the TWO rhythms that are poisoned.  As the kiddos get older, you can add more poisoned rhythms.  This helps keep the game fresh and fun.  The kids LOVE this game and it's one that they ask for, time and time again!

I wanted also to have a formal assessment in March so I created some worksheets.  I might use this one with my first graders, but I'm probably going to use the one that incorporated ta rest.

I've created poison games for the following concepts (high do and ti are coming soon):
  1. ta ti-ti
  2. ta rest
  3. half note
  4. tika-tika
  5. ti-tika
  6. tika-ti
  7. syn-co-pa
  8. tom-ti
  9. ti-tom
  10. tim-ka
  11. so-mi
  12. la
  13. do
  14. re
  15. low la
  16. low so
  17. fa
  18. ti
There's also a rhythm bundle and the melodic bundle will be coming soon! :)

In addition to these games, I've also almost finished a "genertic poison" game that is not seasonal and you can use anytime of year.  There will be a blog post about these soon!  I'm hoping to make a spring garden version of these games too. . . where kiddo will have to watch out for the deadly weeds, lol!  We'll see. . . :)

1 comment

  1. So pretty! I use poison rhythms all the time. The kids love them!


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