As part of a series of lessons on music form with a year 5 and 6 class, I gave them the task of going through a piece of notated music and colour coding all the bars with matching patterns. The piece I used is called “Bodyworks” from the AC Black “Music Express Extra -Developing Skiils – Celebrate” book and CD. It is a fairly complex piece, notated for two players, each performing a complex pattern of body percussion using clapping, stamping, and chest (we used knees).
I spent some time going through the piece using an interactive whiteboard, making sure that they understood the notation (we had covered all the rhythms in other lessons the previous year), and the concept of bars and bar-lines, and which lines were for which part. I then gave some children the opportunity to find bars which had identical notation, and showed how I wanted them to use coloured pencils to colour code the whole piece. They all had their own sheet, but I allowed them to work together and support each other.
Here is a much simpler version of the kind of thing that I am talking about, with just one part: