Do Rats Dance?

Do you ever bop your head up and down to the beat of a song? We used to think only people could do this, but it turns out rats can bop to the beat, too! Scientists played a few songs for rats, including “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga and “Beat It” by Michael Jackson, and watched both the humans and the rats react. They found that music at 120 to 140 beats per minute is best – both the people and the rats bopped. So play your favorite song and rock out with the rats!

Wee ones: Play a song or sing one while you clap 4 beats. See if you can find the beat!

Little kids: Bop your head 3 times, then clap, then bop your head 3 more times, then clap. How many times did you bop your head? Bonus: Lines of music often take up 16 beats. If you’ve bopped out the first 12 beats, how many more beats to get to 16?

Big kids: This study ran for days! If one rat bopped its head 187 times and another bopped 213 times, which one bopped more beats? Bonus: If Ricardo the Rat loves Michael Jackson, and bops 48 beats of “Beat It” every time, how many times does Ricardo bop if the song plays 100 times?


Wee ones: Count 1, 2, 3, 4.

Little kids: 6 bops. Bonus: 4 more beats.

Big kids: The rat who bopped 213 times. Bonus: 4,800 times.

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