Angry Birds Rhythm Game

Let me preface this post by saying that I have a son. And let me also say that I have a husband.  Now,  I'm sure you're all familiar with the phrase "men are from Mars, women are from Venus?"  Yep, I agree.  With having a son and a daughter I am more and more aware of this.  My school is also spending some of professional development time on the difference between girl and boys learners.  Really interesting, fascinating and will change the way you teach.  We've had Kelley King in for P.D. this year.  Really great stuff, if you get a chance look it up!

But back to the post.  I'm sure you have kids in your classrooms that either have access to iPads/iPods and/or own one at home.  We have two.  Joy.  Really, they are amazing tools but I have to say that my son and husband are over-the-top with them.  I've had to do many an intervention on them.  It's not fun and it's not pretty.  It's kind of the one thing that I'm dreading about summer.  But I digress.  One of the games you've all heared about is Angry Birds.  In fact, I created a vocal exploration ppt for it.  (download here!!).

Well, since I created that powerpoint I was trying to wrap my brain around how I could bring Angry Birds to life in my classroom.  See, I have a special needs students (one in particular with Asphergers) who LOVES Angry Birds and that little bit of buy in from him can SAVE me in a class period if he's "off."  Well, like all of us do (or not), I was laying in bed the other night, unable to sleep, and it dawned on me how to make this "real".

First of all, I bought these really AWESOME balls on a whim from Oriental Trading (which, sad to report, I can't find any more.  I bought them right before Easter so they must have been seasonal).  I will update this blog post tomorrow with a picture of them.  Basically, they are the size of a handball and have "bird" faces on them.  They came as a set os 6 with two green, two blue & two purple.  The kids loved them and we also used them for vocal exploration (tossing them up and following them as they "flew" and bounced in the room).

Next, I had purchased foam squares for an activity that I saw at a workshop (and that I also have used for music hopscotch, a blog post that's yet to happent).  Using four blocks, I created cubes that were open on two sides.  Then, using my rhythm blocks, my first graders reviewed the rhythm to "All Around the Buttercup":

Then, I would let two kiddos come up at a time.  Just like the Angry Birds game, they had a set number of birds to use: 3.  If, after tossing (UNDERHAND) three birds, they did not knock a block off I let them use their hands to knock one down.   So, as a result, two beats were taken away each time.
 You can see the progression of the blocks being hit off:

 This continued until all blocks, including the two below, were knocked off.  It did take a while, but it was a VERY active and engaging activity and with just under 3 weeks of school left anything that is engaging, active and still practicing/reviewing our grade level concepts is GREAT!

My second graders had a different take on it.  My first graders were very careful to only hit the blocks down.  Now, second graders, have more experience and know that in the "real" Angry Birds game the structures can also be knocked down.  See how they "embraced" that concept below:


  1. Do you have the students doing anything after they knock various rhythm blocks down?

    1. Yes, everytime after they knock some blocks down they must "read" the song in it's entirety, so it's a music memory game. While the class is doing this, the students that threw the ballc must retrieve the balls and give them away.

  2. Where did you purchase the foam squares from?


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