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Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan (20 minutes total)

  • use the Processing program to have students each make a rhythm
    • Objective: have students begin to see what a timeline is and how it is a visual representation of time
    • 5 minutes
  • move to the Scratch program to have students make the same rhythm (or a new one if the old one was too difficult)
    • Objective: add fractions; students will use actual fractional representations of the length of time a particular note takes up to fill up one whole measure (the entire timeline)
    • 5 minutes: teaching and tinkering with program
    • 5 minutes: students play with program, creating new rhythms
  • using Scratch program, ask challenge questions
    • Objective: reinforce math concepts learned in class
    • 5 minutes


Sample challenge questions:

  • How many whole/half/quarter/eighth/sixteenth notes can you fit?
  • (if student is using notes that are eighth notes or larger) can you make your rhythm twice as fast?
    • Alternatively: can you make it repeat twice?
  • Can you make your rhythm slower?
  • What is the least amount of notes you can use to make that rhythm?
  • Try to figure out a way to use X number of notes. (this is possible because of the silent notes)


Another possible challenge that is more appealing to grade-school students is to have them figure out the rhythm of popular songs using the Scratch program. This challenge may take more time.