Lesson Plan for Rhythm Wheel with LCM

By Mark Kamauff



Students will demonstrate the ability to use the rhythm wheel to find the least common multiple (LCM).



1.      Teacher gives students step by step directions on how to get to the rhythm wheel. Alternatively, teacher can have the computers all set up and ready to go (recommended). Either way, its a good idea to have the URL bookmarked ahead of time.

2.      Give students 5 minutes to explore the Rhythm Wheel. Have students share their discoveries. Explain that each triangle is called a beat, and that each time the wheel goes around its called a loop.

3.      Guided practice: Have students set up one wheel with 4 spaces on it. Explain that the dashes (triangles with no sound) still count as beats because they are rests. Ask the students how many beats happen in a play of this wheel (that is, how many beats between hitting play and the time the wheel stops). Try the same for a 3 beat wheel.

4.      Guided practice: Have students use their 3 beat wheel, but change the loop number to 2. Ask the students how many beats happen in a play of this wheel (answer: 2 loops of 3 beats = 6 total beats in this play). Ask the students how many beats happen in a play if they have 3 loops (answer: 9). Ask the students how many different ways they can create a wheel that has 8 beats in its play (answers: 1 loop of 8, 2 loops of 4, 4 loops of 2).

5.      Guided practice: Have students change the Number of Wheels so there are two wheels. Set the first to 6 beats and 1 loop. Set the second to 3 beats and 1 loop. Tell the students to try and get the wheels to stop at the same time. Students share how they did it. Discuss the LCM of 6 and 3 as well as how the rhythm wheel could help you find it.

6.      Do another example together (4 beats and 6 beats).

7.      Give students a few problems to do on their own while you monitor. Examples: 2 beats and 3 beats; 3 beats and 4 beats; 2 beats and 7 beats.

8.      Review together.


Assessment: Give quiz. Two are available. Quiz 1 can be used as a pre-test, if the LCM concept has been introduced before they use the rhythm wheels. Quiz 2 can be used as a post-test, after the rhythm wheels has been used.


Standards: M1-M4