What to do with….. (Little Seed)

This series of posts will address suggestions for working with specific material in the context of a full lesson plan or as an individual activity.

Here, I will share with you what I learn, as I continue to experiment and discover more ways of working with my materials.

If you don’t already own the curriculum piece I am talking about, you can either download the track from itunes (in the case of AlphaBeat  and Brain Bop) or purchase the recording in its entirety from me or one of the vendors who carries my CDs. (see my website for details: katekuper.com)

Songs for Dancing and Step on the Beat are NOT available for individual download.  They are designed to be complete curriculum packages and professional development tools unto themselves.

By watching the instructional DVD and looking at the book that comes with each set, you’ll have a very good idea of how to apply my teaching strategies as I demonstrate the activities on children who are new to the material, as would be the case in your own teaching environments.

So, here goes!

What to do with….

#1: Little Seed (from AlphaBeat)

  • A danced poem, for K – 1st
    (also works with older pre-school and younger 2nd grade)
  • This is a short, manageable choreographic project.The dance is done on one spot. The poem serves as a narrative for a simple dance with a beginning (‘start as a seed’) middle (‘gradually grow’) and end (‘drop seeds…. begin the cycle again’).
  • Allow for improvisation.  Students decide on their own seed shapes, their own directional facing in the space as they grow. (We don’t all have to face forward…. what about sideways?) Seeds are transported from a tree different ways: fall, drop, spiral, float, or drift.  After exploring options, each student chooses his/her own. Final shapes should vary as well… suggesting that the life cycle of the seed is repeating.
  • Use this as an opportunity for students to practice the skills of being audience members and performers.
    After everyone has learned the structure of the dance and performed it once as a group, divide the group in half.  One group pivots on their spot to watch; the other half performs.  Trade.  Ask the audience to ‘watch with a purpose.’ Ask the performers to ‘be still at the beginning and the end, and do your best.’  Audience may show appreciation by applauding.  Performers may acknowledge appreciation by bowing.
  • Connect to Language Arts Learning. This is a poem.
  • Connect to Science. The key ideas in the poem include science vocabulary. When we learn in an unusual way (such as dancing and watching), we are more likely to make a memory of the theme and the key words.
  • Download the AlphaBeat Companion Guide from my website, katekuper.com for the lyrics to the poem and some teaching tips.

November 7, 2013. Tags: , , , . Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, What to do with...., Working with Kate's Material.


  1. Marjorie Nelson replied:

    I “start” several weeks before I plan to do the lesson. I get a large diameter glass vase with some stones in the bottom. I then put a bulb (ready to force, like a paperwhite narcissus) and let the kids observe how it makes roots, shoots and then flowers. When we do the “Little Seed” activity, the kindergarteners and first graders have a frame of reference.

  2. Dancer replied:

    I love your blog! thank you x

    • Kate Kuper replied:

      So glad this blog is useful. It’s exciting to share ideas and find out how others are teaching creative dance and working with my material.
      I feel like we have the potential to bring a lot of joy, freedom, and community to young people through our work, and to touch on the essence of what makes dance so compelling and fun.

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