Instruments, Recorder

March Madness

For those basketball fans out there it is almost the best time of the year…MARCH MADNESS!!!  My husband and I are big Duke fans and we love watching the tournament together.  Last year I created musical versions of the March Madness tournament to use with my students.  4th graders are going to be doing the Recorder version starting next week and they are excited.


This unit can be done as a whole class or as an individual playing tool.  you can print, cut, and laminate the sign and posters to display in your room or hallway to make an interactive and fun showcase of the students work.  This is a fun way to help your students practice their recorder playing or even learn new notes along the way.

How I Run My Tournament:

It works out nicely that I have four 4th grade classes playing this.  I can do the typical “regions” for each class. Then once we get down to a winner from each class, we have a “final four” round during recess.  Then the final “championship” round takes place during recess the next day.

When I do this with my students we do it on an individual basis, instead of a whole group.  Students are paired up, by me, and given a chromebook or iPad. Then these partners play against each other seeing who can get to the 10 points first.  My school utilizes Google Classroom, so I shared the powerpoint with them via their classroom so they could access it on their own device. I did not share it prior to the class so that they could not see it before hand.


After that first class we have a set of “winners”, and they advance on to play each other in round 2.  For the second class the students are either playing round 2, if they were a winner previously, or they are playing round 1 again for more practice.

Round 3 and beyond brings smaller group of players and I also begin having the rest of the class be the fans.  For me this means it does not take up as much classroom time and we can do other activities besides this. This is also a great way for them to cheer on their classmates as they try more and more difficult melodies.  You could still continue with the previous format of everyone playing the melodies just on different levels.


My students have found it really easy to use and play. It is a fun way to check on how students are doing with their recorder playing. I tend to float around the room listening to different students play, assessing them along the way.

You can find the recorder version, as well as rhythm and melody versions on my TPT store! March Madness Recorder

I can’t wait to see which student is the “Champion”. Here is my set up outside my classroom!

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