First grade spends most of the fall being introduced and then working on the eighth note pair rhythm.
They add this rhythm into activities with quarter notes and quarter rests. Two composing activities that happen in the fall of first grade is a roll and clap activity where students roll cubes that have quarter notes, quarter rests and eighth note pairs and then create a rhythm pattern based on what they roll. Their partner then has to clap the rhythm that was created.
The second activity is one where students begin to explore the idea that notes are placed on the staff. They do not place the notes on specific lines or spaces. They use icons to put on top of the staff to reinforce the idea of notes go on the staff in music. Students use precut quarter note and eighth note pair icons to create their own rhythm. This gives them more independence to take ownership of building 4 beat patterns.
These are both great centers for students to practice creating music.