We set up in a circle on the floor and each student was given a paper cup. To start, we practised picking up the cup on beat one and setting it down in front of the person on our right on beat two, picking it up on beat three and putting it down on beat four. This requires a lot of focus! I loved seeing how students problem-solved when the person next to them either struggled with the beat or decided to pass the cup as fast as possible. Group dynamics kicked in as the majority of the students wanted to be successful and soon everyone was passing it to the best of their ability. Then I added some tunes!
What song has a better beat to it than Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice? How about the Crazy Frog version. If you can handle the squeaky frog voice in the background this is a great CD and students of all ages respond to it.
To increase the challenge, I added a "rock" (which was actually a large Halloween eraser I had on hand). The pattern was changed so that students started off with the cup in their hand, placed it on the floor on beat 1, slid it across to the person next to them on beat 2, quickly picked up and put down the cup on beat 3, and slid it across on beat 4. I started off with the eraser under my cup and it traveled around the circle as all the students continued the above cup pattern.
The students split up into their Music Groups and practised passing the "rock" around. I used this as a formative assessment and observed and took notes as I watched each groups. Now, if only I can get that song out of my head!