How to Create a “Spotlight the Rhythm” Activity  In Seesaw & Google Slides

Are you looking for an easy and fun way to assess your students’ understanding of basic rhythm patterns? Our community coordinator for Midnight Music, Amy Burns, inspired by Kris Szajner’s Youtube Channel, has the perfect activity for your students that works in either Seesaw or Google Slides. Follow these simple steps to create your very own “Spotlight the Rhythm” interactive activity. 

For more Seesaw inspiration and other music tech activities, check out Amy’s book, Using Technology with Elementary Music Approaches or visit her website, amymburns.com.

View Amy’s video by clicking below. Step-by-step directions are given below the video for your convenience. 

Seesaw How-To

Create the Project

  1. Log-in to Seesaw Online
  2. Click “Create a New Activity”
  3. Click “Add a Template” 
    1. Select “Drawing” 
  4. Add a background (if you desire) such as music staff or clef signs. 
  5. Click the 3 dots & select “Shapes”. Insert a box which will hold your rhythm examples. 
  6. Change the box’s color to BLACK. 
  7. Click the 3 dots underneath your black box and select “lock”. 

Create Your Rhythm Patterns

  1. Option 1: Create your own rhythm example in Seesaw using uploaded images from Midnight Music’s Free Notation Library
  2. Option 2: Screenshot a rhythm using Rhythm Randomizer.
    1. Go to RhythmRandomizer.com
    2. Click on the gear icon on the left side of your screen and edit your example length, time signature, and included note values. 
    3. Once you have a rhythm pattern you like, take a screenshot of the example and save the image to your computer. 
    4. Upload the image to Remove.bg (a free online background removal tool) and check that the background is removed by looking for a checkerboard pattern behind the image. 
    5. Download the edited image. 
    6. Upload your edited image into Seesaw or drag and drop the download file into the Seesaw workspace. 

Make Your Rhythm Boxes

  1. Resize your rhythm to fit inside of your black box and drag it over top of the black box. 
  2. Click on the 3 dots underneath your rhythm image and select “Order”, “Bring to Front”. 
  3. Click the 3 dots underneath your rhythm image and select, “Lock.” 

Add a Spotlight

  1. Click the 3 dots on the left side of your screen & select a circle shape. 
  2. Change the color to YELLOW. 
  3. Drag your yellow circle over your rhythm image/black blox. 
  4. If you can see your rhythm, you are DONE. 
  5. If you cannot see your rhythm example:
    1. Click your rhythm image. 
    2. Click the 3 dots underneath the image. 
    3. Select “Unlock”
    4. Click the 3 dots underneath the image again. 
    5. Select “Order”, “Bring to Front”
    6. Lock the image by clicking on the 3 dots underneath one final time and selecting, “Lock”
    7. You should now be able to see your rhythm when you drag the yellow spotlight over it. 

Design Your Directions

Amy suggests using a BitMoji character to put directions on your project. She puts a chat bubble shape above her BitMoji picture and adds text & emoticons to convey her directions. Whatever directions you put inside your Seesaw project, make sure to put it on your project outline too so students will see directions before they open the project as well as when they are inside of it. 

Google Slides How-To

  1. Make a slide with your directions. 
  2. On your second slide, make your background BLACK. 
  3. Insert rhythm examples in miscellaneous places on the slide. 
  4. Create a flashlight using colored shapes. 
    1. Select “Insert”, “Shapes”
    2. Recolor shapes by selecting them and then clicking, “Fill Color”. Change to desired color. 
    3. Add in additional shapes (watch Amy’s video for an idea). 
    4. Once you have your ideal shape, select each shape by holding down the SHIFT key. 
    5. Once all shapes are selected, right-click and select GROUP. 
    6. Your images will then all move together (just like a flashlight!)
    7. If you cannot see your rhythms, right click your rhythm image, select “Order”, “Bring to Front”. 
    8. Double-check that you can now make your rhythms appear with your shape-created “Flashlight.”

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Looking for More Resources for Music Teachers?

Hello! I’m Katie Wardrobe – an Australian music technology trainer and consultant with a passion for helping music teachers through my business Midnight Music.

I’m a qualified teacher but no, I don’t currently teach in a school. I help teachers through my online professional development space – the Midnight Music Community – where there are tutorial videos, courses, links and downloadable resources.

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I like to focus on easy ways to incorporate technology into what you are already doing in your music curriculum through a range of creative projects. I also run live workshops and have presented at countless conferences and other music education events.

If you want simple, effective ideas for using technology in music education, I would LOVE to help you inside the Midnight Music Community.

Learn more and take a sneak peek inside