Beacon Lesson Plan Library

At the Corral

Sandra Rosengren


"Down at the ranch" students learn dotted eighth/sixteenth note rhythm pattern using percussion instruments and alternating from "corral to corral" in groups of 4-6. They play the pattern while listening to selected American western theme songs.


The student performs independently simple patterns and melodies on rhythmic and melodic classroom instruments (e.g., percussion instruments and barred instruments) and maintains a steady tempo.


- "The Big Corral." [The Music Connection]. page 150. Silver Burdette Ginn. 1995 Edition. Grade 2
-[The Music Connection]. Silver Burdette Ginn. 1995 Edition. (CD 5-9)
-Student Books
-Percussion instruments such as rhythm sticks, temple blocks, coconut shells, hand drums
-Cowboy Hats
-Bandanas, enough for entire class, each group will wear a different color, ex: group one is red, group two is blue, group three is green, group four is yellow
-Optional fence, example: plastic netting, rope, others
-Western Art Prints, examples: Georgia O'Keefe, Remington, others from your art teacher
-Stuffed Animals, ex: horses, cows
-Guitars, ukuleles
-Fake campfire


1. Write a dotted eighth note followed by a sixteenth note on the board four times.
2. Obtain plastic netting to assemble 4 corrals in the middle of the room.
3. Gather above mentioned instruments to be played in each corral.
4. Obtain Georgia O'Keefe western prints from art teacher
5. Have any optional props and materials ready.


1. Students enter room listening to "On the Trail," from Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofe.

2. Ask students what they know about cattle drives in the old west.

3. Share with students about cowhands and cattle drives as described in the Teacher book. Remind the students the music, "On The Trail", sounds like the clip clop of horses walking while herding cattle on the trail drive.

4. Teach the song, "The Big Corral."

5. Demonstrate the clip clop rhythm pattern, (dotted eighth and sixteenth note pattern) that is drawn on the board. (See associated file.)

6. Students practice clapping the rhythm pattern along with the song, then practice with percussion instruments.

7. Divide class into four groups.

8. Assign each group an area of the room corresponding to the bandana color which has been decorated with props in order to make the area look as much like a corral as possible.

9. While "The Big Corral" is playing each corral group performs the pattern that is on the board for the other three groups.

10. Groups may take turns playing the pattern along with "On The Trail" at the end of the lesson.


The students' performances using the non-pitched percussion instruments are the assessment. Use the following criteria:

Use the plus sign (+) to mark by the student's name if the student is competent in performing the dotted eighth and sixteenth note pattern (clip clop rhythm) on a non-pitched percussion instrument for at least eight beats in the A section of "The Big Corral". Use the half plus sign (-) to mark by the student's name if the student performs the clip clop rhythm for less than 8 beats.
Students will be assessed individually while performing with a group. Students who do not show mastery should have additional time to practice.


1. Movement lesson with Aaron Copland's ballet music from Billy The Kid and Hoedown.
2. Students play clip clop rhythm to "On the Trail" from Grand Canyon Suite.
3. Art Connection: Georgia O'Keefe and Remington western prints from art teacher file.

Attached Files

Eighth and sixteenth note patterns.     File Extension: pdf

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