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Poison Rhythms

Poison Rhythm is one of my favorite rhythm activities ever.  Students are so completely engaged.  They will read and perform dozens of patterns over and over without complaint.  Read on to learn more about this exciting game.

How to play poison rhythm:

  1.  Choose a poison rhythm and write it on the board.
  2. Have students practice this pattern by clapping and saying it several times.
  3. Explain that once the game starts that they can’t clap or say this rhythm.  If they do YOU get a point.  If no one in the class claps or says the poison rhythm, the class gets a point.
  4. Erase the rhythm and either show flashcards (that have a few copies of that rhythm in it) or clap the rhythm and let them decide from just listening while you echo.

I decided that using the flashcards was cumbersome, so I created a digital version.  That was SO much easier.  The play is pretty much the same except the PDF walks you through the beginning steps and there’s a theme for each set of games.  

Take a look at this video to see how I introduce/review this game with a class:

There are MANY variations to this game.  You can do a quick search on Facebook or Google to see the variations.

Instead of just clapping the rhythms, I like to mix it up.  Sometimes we will use buckets and drum sticks, tubanos, other non-pitched percussion instruments, Boomwhackers and sometimes we turn our chairs around backwards, sit facing the screen and use drumsticks on the back of our chairs. AWESOME!

If you are interested in using my digital versions (that you could also print if you wanted) take a look here:  Poison Rhythms.

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