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Dot Composing

Fourth Graders have recently learned "Chicken on a Fencepost".  We learned the melody, played a fun game with a rubber chicken and then deciphered the rhythm.  In this piece we discovered quarter notes, eighth notes and 16th notes.  Our next activity was to compose with dots.  Students decided how many sounds they wanted to hear on each beat and placed the same number of dots into "beat boxes".  Then they wrote the notation for their creations and we performed some of them as a class.

One of my favorite parts of this project is the titles the students create.  I explain that somewhere in their title they have to use the word "dot".  Here are some of the clever ones I saw this year:

Dot Road Anthem

I’m Dotty and I Know It

Dot This Down

We Dot the Beat

The Dot of the Tiger

Party Like You are a Dot Star

Jesus Loves Dots

Just Dot It

Can’t Dot This

What Does the Dot Say?

Dot Me Maybe
Such creative minds!  I just loved doing this project with them.  Teachers: Download the lesson here.


  1. I love this! The titles they came up with are hilarious too!

  2. This is great! Thanks so much for sharing!
    - Staytuned

  3. That's adorable! I can't wait to try this out. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this idea! I used it with my 4ths as a pre-spring break filler when I didn't want to get into anything new, and it went fine. For the last week or so, however, I've been using it with 3rds, who have recently been working on 4 16ths, and 2nds (just quarter and 2 8ths, plus the option to leave a box empty for a quarter rest). They are loving it, and I am loving seeing them make the connections between the notes and the visual representations - the 3rds especially have been quick to catch on and often beat me to the punchline.
    My kiddos aren't as creative as yours, but my favorite title so far was the highest vote-getter for the class example composition in 2nd grade this morning: The Dot Ness Monster.
    Again, Thanks for sharing! It's a great idea!
    ~Ann in NC