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Monday Music Manipulatives - Meter Manipulatives with Popsicle Stick Bar Lines

Last Monday, I posted on my Facebook page asking what music manipulatives you were using in your lessons and I got some really neat ideas, and I am so happy that those teachers are allowing me to share their manipulative ideas with you. Today's idea comes from Tina Morgan.

This manipulative is for working on creating measures in 4 beat meter, 3 beat meter, or 2 beat meter and having students figure out where to put the bar lines using Popsicle sticks. 

The class works in small groups to add the bar lines to a known song or they can create their own songs, using certain time signatures and adding bar lines (popsicle sticks) where appropriate. You could create several baskets and do this with the whole class, or create one to use as a center.

Here's what goes in each basket for each small group:
- rhythm cards (each rhythm was printed on a different color of paper and laminated), each rhythm can be contained in a Ziploc bag
- time signature cards
- Popsicle sticks
- poker chips (in case they want to create repeats)
- a sheet of paper that describes the contents of the basket so students can be sure their basket has everything before turning it back in

When it's all packed up it looks like this:

Here's a close up of the contents sheet: 

Tina created these rhythm cards by hand back in 1999, but she allowed me to create a digital file so that music teachers could simply print and have this ready to go for their classrooms.

Grab the file here

It includes stick notation as well as notation with note heads. I have also include a few more rhythm options. 

I have added a different contents sheet for several different rhythm concept levels so you could create a basket for where ta and titi are the hardest rhythm concepts, a basket where ta rest is the hardest rhythm concept and so on. 

Hope you enjoy this manipulative to practice adding bar lines and a big thank you to Tina for letting me share it with you!


  1. Thank you very much for creating the digital file. It looks like a great activity for students.

    1. Thank you! I hope it is something you will be able to use with your students!

  2. Thanks for your details and explanations.I want more information from your side..please include some valuable ideas.

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