A Lesson on Place for 4-5 year olds

The first lesson I teach in the studio at the start of a new semester is a lesson on place.  See the attached plan for a detailed sample 45-minute lesson.

The word ‘place’ comes from Laban’s vocabulary.  In Laban notation, where we start indicates place.

In our studio, class size is limited to 12 children. There is always a lead teacher and at least one assisting teacher. Children take their shoes off outside the door, with a parent’s help, and enter the room to play with the prop of the day (scarves, pop toobs, stretchy bands, etc) before I play a few notes on the recorder indicating ‘time to clean up and make a circle for the warm up.’

When I teach in an early childhood setting, as a teaching artist, I am limited to 20-30 minutes and move more slowly through the material.  I may only do the “Welcome Song” (in great detail) and the warm up. The next time, I will add Apples and Oranges.  In an early childhood or Head Start setting, I begin and end with “Down By the Station” to model traveling in a moving line to form a circle, and using that moving line from the circle to return to the door.

I also account for time to take off  shoes at the beginning, leaving the shoes in “shoe-ville” with socks inside shoes (‘put your socks inside your shoes, then your socks you will not lose.’  ‘The toes of your shoes ‘kiss’ the wall.’) At the end, the ‘train’ returns to shoe-ville and everyone finds their ‘house’ (pair of shoes).

See Songs for Dancing for detailed modeling of Down by the Station and Welcome Song.

Enjoy this lesson plan! Let me know how it works for you.1 Place for Ages 4-5

Coming Soon: Lesson on Size and Level


August 8, 2013. Creative Dance Lesson Plans, Developing Skills, Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, Reflection and Closure, Resting, Studio Teaching, Working with Kate's Material. Leave a comment.