Pumpkin Patch Matching Game
I love pumpkins and so do students. Today’s activity has a pumpkin theme so you can use it now and all the way up to Thanksgiving.
This activity is a file folder note matching game. The hardest part is cutting out the pumpkin cards. If you have trouble cutting small items, I also added some cutting lines so that you can cut out squares instead of cutting around the tiny pumpkin stem. If you decide to cut out the individual pumpkins like I did, and you plan to laminate them, cut the pumpkins first, and then laminate them. When you cut them out again, leave as much laminated margin around the pumpkins as you can.
There are 5 pages, including a page for the bass clef notes, a page for the treble clef notes, 2 pages of pumpkin flash cards, and a page of keyboard cards.
There are no hard and fast rules for this game. I tried it out with students, and I changed it around for each ability level.
I made this game so my students would have another seasonal way to practice identifying the treble and bass clef, as well as learning the names of notes. I like to keep my elementary students enthused about piano lessons by having different activities. And they often learn something new. In this set, there is a high treble G and the bass clef D, something that was new to some of my early level students. However, you can pull the cards you don’t want to use.
- To quickly recognize the treble and bass clef
- To reinforce names of notes on the treble and bass staves
- To play a seasonal activity
- Print out the treble and bass game boards.
- Print the pumpkin flash cards and the optional keyboard cards, and cut out either around each pumpkin or on the dotted lines.
- Glue or tape each game board to the inside of a file folder. Tape an envelope on the front of the file folder to hold the pumpkin cards.
- Students match the cards with the names of the notes on the game board, paying special attention to identify the clef first
Other ways to play
- Use a timer to see how long it takes to complete each clef
- With two students, have a race to see who can match the notes first
- If students don’t know their notes very well, use guided practice and help them figure out the notes
- Play with certain notes only, such as ACE
- At a group lesson, put students on two teams and let them play against each other. Be sure to laminate the cards if you do this because they will get excited.
Leave a comment here if you can think of another way to play!
Bats and Cats Note Game
Wow, this graphic really is over the top! I illustrated it this way so I could show the “Card of Doom” in Pinterest. We’ve been playing the game in my studio, and my students love the Card of Doom, especially since the teacher is usually the one who draws it! Honestly, it’s good that I love for my students to win because somehow they usually do!
We have really enjoyed this game. Even beginning students who have not learned to read notes can play by using a staff chart such as Halloween Notes on a Staff. If your students are getting ready for a theory exam, this is a great review for that, too.
Included in this set are 3 pages of notes on staves, one page of fun instruction cards to mix up with the note cards, a game board, and an optional colorful back for your cards, which make them look more professional. Be sure to set your printer to landscape orientation. Yes, this uses a lot of ink, but you only have to print it once. If you want it too look really good, use photo paper and laminate it. [If you don't know how to omit the optional back to the cards, check out my FAQ.]
This game can be played with students or teacher and student. The players take turns drawing cards and moving to the correct alphabet name. Mix up the staff cards with the instruction cards. The game is over when a player draws any note card after the last D. It is such a quick game you can play more than once.
- To reinforce or learn note names on the staff
- To learn the word “octave”
- To play a fast Halloween board game
- Kindergarten to grade 4 or 5
I know some of you would like keyboard cards so you can play this with beginners. Email me and I’ll send a PDF copy to you. But give me a few days, because I don’t have them made yet. I didn’t think to add them to this set because I only have one beginner, and he knows the keys now. So we used the Halloween Notes on a Staff sheet, which he filled out himself, and I was surprised to see him learn a few note names as he played.
Alphabet Clothespin Matching Cards
I’ve used the little animal characters I designed to create a matching game for students who are learning the note names around middle C. Students take a clothespin and clip it on the matching letter on the staff. It’s fun, and something a little different. It’s not hard but I think it’s a good way for younger students to practice learning note names. I also made a version for pre-readers using keyboards. If there is enough interest I’ll post it.
If is funny that some children don’t know what clothespins are. I tell them how I was the person in the house who had to carry the clothes out in the back and hang them on the clothesline. And I was the one who had to run out real fast and take them down if it started raining. Their eyes seem to get big like they are sitting in the presence of a true pioneer woman, especially when I tell them I remember finally getting a washing machine when I was a little girl. When I was real young we lived in a small city and the laundry man came around and got our dirty laundry. One student asked me if I remember when cars were invented!
There are 3 pages of cards. Print them on sturdy card stock and laminate. If you can’t laminate, and you want them to last, cover with clear plastic, such as clear Contact™ paper.
A few years ago I gave a baby shower and one of the games used little mini-clothes pins. I still have them, and I’m trying to think of some way to use them. But they were too small for my young students to use, so I went into my laundry room and got these. Laundry rooms are nice, but in a way I miss those simpler times when I spent the summer dashing out in the backyard to bring in the clothes!
- To quickly identify the 9 notes around Middle C
- To work on eye-hand coordination
- To strengthen the fingers
- To enjoy a hands-on activity
- Children ages 5-8 who are learning to read note names
- Regular size clothespins
- Alphabet Clothespin Matching Cards, printed and cut out of card stock
- This activity is for one student, but can be modified for more than one
- The teacher gives the student the cards and a supply of clothespins
- The object is to attach the clothes pin under the correct name of the note on the staff
- As the students get better and know the notes, the game can be played with a timer
Why I like this game
- It does not require a lot of preparation
- It is fast and can be played in a few minutes
- It is something a little different for students but they recognize the characters
- It also helps to strengthen the fingers a little
Set of Grand Staff Printables
This is a versatile set of grand staff printables. Two are in color, and two are black ink. Two have the notes typed in, and two are blank so that students can label them. There is a handy keyboard at the top to show where each note is located on the keyboard. The middle C is directly between the two staves so students can see how the bass and treble staff continue with the music alphabet.
- Instead of printing out a copy for each student, put them inside sheet protectors and use dry erase markers.
- If you have a beginning student who needs to learn the notes very quickly for an exam or test at school, this might be just the thing they need. It also coordinates with the polka-dot theme on the printables I posted last week.
- Put the labeled version inside their binder, or insert one in the plastic, see-through binder cover.
- Using the Skitch app (or your favorite app), download the black and white version on an iPad. While the notes are tiny, elementary students can still write on it or even draw lines to the keyboard at the top. To save time, call out letters and let students match them.
Be sure to only print the version you need. See my last post if you are not sure how to do that. Set you printer to landscape orientation.
If you are looking for larger staves to write in note names, please check my website, because I have multiple versions for just about every holiday.
I hope I thought of everything! If you have any ideas, please leave your suggestion in the comments to share with other teachers.
Search and Find Bass F
Finally, the last of the Search and Find games. My students must be sick of them, and you probably are, too! Even if you don’t use them all, they really seem to help students learn how to identify notes. My student, who has been testing these out, asked if we could play the Ladybug Game instead. Since they are both very fast games, we played both! But I thought up more ways to use them so they don’t get so repetitious.
- One thing I did was download a few of them into Skitch, the iPad app, and had the student cross out all the notes that were not F. [Let me know if you need a tutorial. My last one is outdated.]
- I also played it that way as a board game with my magnetic chips. Instead of covering the F’s, we covered the notes that were not F.
- Another idea is to print out 2 copies, one for you and one for your student. Take turns drawing alphabet cards, and see who can cover the F’s first. To keep from having to print out a lot of letters, throw the letters you draw back into the pile to draw again. You can also play this with 2 students.
- A lot of students like to see how fast they can cover the notes, so I use a stop watch. This makes some students nervous, so I don’t do that with everyone.
- These printables can also be worksheets. Print out one copy and put it in a sheet protector. The student can circle notes with a dry erase marker, which works really well if you remember to erase it right away. I actually use the same sheet both ways, as a board game and as a worksheet, and I only had to make one copy.
This is the ninth printable in a series of “Search and Find” games. I have already posted Search and Find Middle C, Search and Find D, Search and Find E, Search and Find F, and Search and Find (treble) G, Search and Find bass A, Search and Find Bass B, and Search and Find G, so you can see why I’m pretty tired of Search and Find. However, I’m not finished with my animal characters, so look for them to reappear soon!
Coming up tomorrow, the academic calendar I post every year.