ALEX Learning Activity


Staff Wars: Reading Note Names on the Staff

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Carrie Cruz
System:Jefferson County
School:Jefferson County Board Of Education
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2076
Staff Wars: Reading Note Names on the Staff
Digital Tool/Resource:
The Music Interactive
Web Address – URL:

Students will review, practice, and assess note reading on the staff.

This activity was created as a result of the Art COS Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
Arts Education
ARTS (2017)
Grade: 4
Music: General
9) Read and perform with increased fluency, using iconic and/or standard notation.

Unpacked Content
Artistic Process: Performing
Anchor Standards:
Anchor Standard 4: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
Process Components: Analyze
Essential Questions:
EU: Analyzing creators' context and how they manipulate elements of music provides insight into their intent and informs performance.
EQ: How does understanding the structure and context of musical works inform performance?
Concepts & Vocabulary:
  • Conducting patterns in
  • Syncopation
  • Pitch set: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, Ti
  • Treble clef reading (La, So, Mi, Re, Do)
  • Middle C through High B
  • Create melodic sequences
  • Half-step
  • Whole step
  • Canons
  • Chord components
  • Chord progression (I, V)
  • Crossover bordun
  • Phrasing: antecedent and consequent
  • D.C. al coda
  • Fine
  • pp through ff
  • Age-appropriate audience and performer etiquette
  • Orchestra instruments within the 4 families
  • Age-appropriate pitch matching (A3-E5)
Skill Examples:
  • Sing, move and respond to music from world cultures and different composers.
  • Sing a varied repertoire with accurate rhythm, pitch and expressive qualities individually and with others.
  • With limited guidance, Improvise and compose short compositions using a variety of classroom instruments and sound sources.
Reading/ Writing
  • Read, write and perform using rhythm patterns that include syncopated rhythms, in 2/4, 3/4 and 4/4 meter.
Responding/ Evaluating
  • Use the head voice to produce a light, clear sound employing breath support and maintaining appropriate posture.
  • Use student developed criteria to critique their own performances and the performances of others.
Learning Objectives:

Students will read note names on a 5 line treble clef staff with increased fluency.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

The Music Interactive website has a game that the students can play to practice and assess reading music on the staff.

Download Staff Wars to your computer or device.

As the students play the game, the game moves faster, requiring the students to answer quickly.  The game helps to practice and assess music note reading fluency.  The game can be played by the students pressing the answer with a mouse, or playing the correct note on an instrument.  

Assessment Strategies:

The game increases in levels and speed as the students give correct answers.  The students are given 3 chances to make a wrong answer before the game is over.  The teacher can assess the students' fluency by seeing how many levels they are able to complete.  The students and teachers can also see growth by playing the game on more than one occasion to see if they are able to complete more levels.

Advanced Preparation:

The teacher should view the website to make sure the game works on the computer.  The teacher can show the game by projecting it or use it as a center.

Variation Tips (optional):

The game can also be downloaded to a tablet.

Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: