Vol. 1. No. 3 R-1 March 1995
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Rhythm and Role Play

Carolyn Graham, with cartoons by Sergio Aragones (1991)
Studio City, CA: JAG Publications
Pp. 95, with audiocassette.
ISBN 0-943327-08-3 (paper); 0-943327-09-1 (cassette)
US $10.95 text; $14.95 cassette

Rhythm and Role Play was published thirteen years after Jazz Chants (Graham, 1978) was first published. In this later publication, Carolyn Graham has teamed up with cartoonist Sergio Aragones and editor Joan Ashkenas. Thirteen chapters or topics portray various character roles as in a play, with choral responses. The cartoons are very clever and the role plays are humorous. "The Traffic Ticket" in Unit Ten might not ring true for some EFL classes, but it does here in the Czech Republic, where the alleged speeder, if not under any substance influence, must pay a fine on the spot. If the offender doesn't have enough money, the policeman writes out the equivalent of an IOU from the trespasser to the town Police Department!

There is a cassette tape that accompanies the paperback book, with rhythmic exercises for each unit. The cassette tape is helpful, but not necessary, since the class can chant, clap, rap, and finger-snap rhythms they desire.

One difference between Jazz Chants and Rhythm and Role Play is the inclusion of exercises in the latter, which include pair work ("Ask Your Partner"), word puzzles and some crossword puzzles. Although not exhaustive, they provide models for teachers and students to create their own rhythms and activities. The materials are appropriate for intermediate and advanced levels.


Graham, C. (1978). Jazz Chants. New York: Oxford University Press.

Lloyd V. Rogers
South Bohemia University


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