Unit 1, LESSON 2:


Authors: Katherine Alarcio, Janice Boychuk, Lauren Fagaragan, Chet-Yeng Loong, and Kevin Morita.

Central Focuses:


The primary central focus is to introduce students to musical elements: rhythm. Students will be able to perform quarter, pair-eighth notes, and ta-a, reading from music notation. Students will be able to abstract rhythm patterns that they hear.


Learning objectives: 

  • Students will identify quarter, pair-eighth notes, repeat sign, simple duple meter. (Samoan Sasa) (Pr4.2)
  • Students will identify quarter, and pair-eighth notes, and half notes; simple duple meter. (Mary had a little lamb) (Pr4.2)


The focuses of this unit are to guide students to explore self-awareness and relationship skills.

HĀ: #4e, g, h: Strengthened Sense of Aloha; #5e, g, h: Strengthened Sense of Total Well-being.

  • Students will be able to discover their roles, contributions, and importance of sharing and making decisions as a group.


  • Identify one and two sounds/syllables in one beat
  • Quarter and pair-eighth, half notes
  • 2/4, Simple Duple Meter
  • Repeat sign
  • Samoan Sasa
  • Mary Had a Little Lamb


Key Questions:
  • How does this connect with what we’ve learned before?
  • Why is it important to be able to notate rhythms?

Class format: ftf Think/ Pair /Share, Modeling, Discussion Questions

Entrance Task/Check-In: (be sure to review virtual class norms)

Activity 1: Samoan Sasa

Teacher-led Instruction (“I do”): 

From last time, discuss responses from homework (Samoan Sasa SEL).  

Quarter, pair-eighth notes, Ta, ti-ti

Teacher-led Instruction (“I do”): 

Review motions for Samoan Sasa. Remind students about the iconic notation and how some rhythms have two sounds/syllables on the beat while others have one sound/syllable. 

  • The name for one sound on a beat is ta.
  • The name for two sounds on a beat is ti-ti.

Guided/Collaborative Practice (“We Do”):

Show students the music notation for the Samoan Sasa. Have students perform by clapping and saying the rhythm syllables. 

  • A quarter note (ta) is one sound/syllable per beat, pair-eighth (titi) are two sounds/syllables per beat. Can you read in ta (quarter) and ti-ti (pair-eighth) notes for the Sasa

Independent Practice (“You do”) or Group-work with deliverable:

  • Let’s practice ta & ti-ti. Play Rhythm Set 1 video for students. Have them echo back (clapping and saying the rhythm syllables) as they are shown.

Activity 2: 2/4 meter, Simple Duple meter

Teacher-led Instruction (“I do”): 

  • Label 2/4 meter (simple duple):

2/4 meter has two beats in each measure and the quarter note carries the beat. If we replace the bottom number, 4 with a quarter or “ta” note, we may also call the meter “2/ta meter.” Duple means the number 2, thus, this is also called “simple duple” meter.  


Guided/Collaborative Practice (“We Do”):

  • Have students identify 2/4 meter in the Samoan Sasa. Have students practice counting in two as you point to each measure.  

Repeat sign, :ll

Teacher-led Instruction (“I do”): 

  • Label repeat sign( :|| ):  When you perform Samoan Sasa, you repeat the whole piece multiple times. At the end of the song, there is a repeat sign, which looks like two eggs and two pieces of bacon( :|| ). A repeat sign tells us to repeat the section of music that comes before it. Can you find it?

Guided/Collaborative Practice (“We Do”):

  • Have students identify the repeat sign in the Samoan Sasa. Students will clap and say the rhythmic syllables to the Samoan Sasa as the teacher helps them track. Make sure to observe the repeat sign.

Let's practice ta & titi!

Activity 3: Half note, to-o

Teacher-led Instruction (“I do”): 

Label ta-a: A half note (ta-a) is formed when two quarter notes (ta) are tied together. A ta-a lasts for two beats. Teacher leads four beat echo patterns using ta, ti-ti, and ta-a.


A quarter (ta) note is one sound/syllable per beat, when two quarter notes are tie together, it will form half note, which consists of two beats.  

Guided/Collaborative Practice (“We Do”):

Remember the song “Mary Had a Little Lamb”? Sing it while patting the steady beat. Let’s try to identify the rhythm patterns in the song. Use SMARTBoard or you can print out individually for students.  


Phrase 1:

  • Sing and clap the rhythm of the words.
  • How many sounds/syllables do you hear on each beat? Write in ti-ti if you hear two sounds/syllables; ta if you hear one sound/syllable; and ta-a if you hear one sound/syllable held over two beats.
  • Clap and say the rhythm syllables.

Phrase 2:

  • Repeat the same process.
  • Are the rhythms of each phrase the same or different? (different)

Independent Practice (“You do”) or Group-work with deliverable:


Students read the music notation for “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and perform it by clapping and saying the rhythm syllables. They can break into pairs and give each other feedback based on the rubric.  

SPED Supports

Allow SPED students to share verbally or to draw responses.
Students may sign with hand signs by modeling the teacher (no notation).
Depending on ability level, they may abstract just a chunk of the song using manipulatives.

  • Special learners might benefit from having manipulatives to put in the spot of the rhythm instead of having to write it in. For example, a teacher may hold up two cards, one ta, one ti-ti, and say, "how many syllables are in Mary?" One (hold the ta card forward) or two (have ti-ti card forward). The student could then place the chosen card in the blank space.

They may also utilize a feelings chart when discussing musical style and feelings.


Formative - informal observations of students performing Rhythms Set 1 video (check for rhythmic accuracy); students clap and say rhythm syllables for “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and give peer feedback according to the rubric.

Summative - Later, students can repeat the “Mary Had a Little Lamb” activity performing it for the teacher as a formal assessment. Unit Summative will come at the end of Lesson 3.


Exit task:

Reminders: Have students complete SEL questions for the Samoan Sasa for homework.


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