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Funny story: Last year, I was working really hard to get my students to learn the notes of the treble clef. Towards the beginning of this adventure, I gave them all staves to look at, and bingo chips. I’d say, “Put a chip on line one. Put one on space four.” And on and on. In the middle of one of these, I thought that it sounded similar to the game battleship.
And I actually gasped and said, “We should play battleship!”
And all of my poor, board-game-deprived fourth graders looked at me like I had totally lost my mind.
Which is ok, by the way. If they think you are a little crazy, they are less likely to do something ridiculous in your room.
And so the brain-storming began.
Little did I know that other people had done this too… but I’m going to pretend I made it up. Because I did arrive at it independently, I promise.
Anyway, even though about two kids in each class had played battleship before, it was a lot of fun. It really helped them to learn the staff.
We also played it in centers, but if you do this, I suggest playing it all together first, so that you can explain to students what they are doing.
I also used this for assessment—I just walked around and watched them play. One person will say, “Do you have a battleship on A?” and the other will say yes or no, and you can see if they mark it on the right line/space.
I will also put the rules for how to play at the bottom, so that you can check it out!
If you need some help with using centers with crazy classes… check this post out.
- Sheet protectors
- File folders
- Treble clef staves
- Print out two treble clefs on the same sheet of paper. I downloaded this one from Teachers Pay Teachers (for free!). Then I printed two out, cut them, taped them to a clean sheet of paper, and copied them. I know that sounds like a lot, but it wasn’t! I added the words “yours” and “theirs” so that we understood the game a bit better.
- Stuff treble clefs into sheet protectors (you could also laminate, but this was quicker, and you can put other things inside them if you wanted!).
- Staple sheet protectors into the file folders. I just put two staples in the top. I tried to make it so that I can put other things inside of them.
- That’s it!
Also read: Free 3-5 Music Lesson: Extra Beat, Take a Seat
Rules of the Game:
- Students pair up. Each person gets a battleship game. We used expo markers and drew on them, but you could also put bingo chips on the lines/spaces.
- Each students makes three dots for on the staff marked “yours”. These are their battleships.
- Students take turns asking where the other student’s battleships are. It should sound like this:
- “Is there one on B?” (You could also do second line, third space, etc. depending on what you are teaching them.)
- “Hit” if they hit and “miss” if they miss it.
- The students mark their guesses. If they guess correctly, on the staff marked “theirs”, they put a dot. That way they know there is a battleship there. If they miss, they put an x. Make sure they do this, otherwise they will ask the same place ten times.
That’s it! I played this with 3-5 grades. At first they really did not get it, but they slowly started to comprehend as time went on. And they LOVED it!
Also read: Lesson Ideas: Creative Movement with Scarves
What are your favorite DIY music manipulatives? Let us know in the comments!