Imaginary Journey is from AlphaBeat. (You can download the track or the whole CD from itunes or order a disc through my website: katekuper.com)
Use visual supports!
Children may have no knowledge or experience with ‘astronauts’ and their ‘helmets.’ Not to mention ‘ice skates,’ or ‘meadows.’
I link this to the “S” words that demonstrate energy/movement quality: sharp, smooth, shaky and swinging.
I show them the letter ‘S’ and the blended sounds of ‘sh’ /’sm’/’sw’
for the energy words. Every time they identify the energy, we briefly move on our spot, still seated, using that energy. Show me shaky movement…Freeze!
Then, as I show them each picture and we talk about what we see in the pictures, I ask them about the quality. How will we move as astronauts? Smooth. Through blue Jell-O? Shaky.
I add other ‘S’ words as we go along: skate, stick, snow, strong and slow (for taking big steps through the snow).
I also model the line of direction (LOD) we’ll use as we go through the space (generally around in a circle).
Finally, after the dance is done, I show each picture again and ask them: What did we do when we were here? Or “How did we move when we were here?” I can follow that up with “Was it smooth or sharp?”
This is a great way to work on imagination and energy qualities, and make language and vocabulary connections.
I’ve attached a collection of images you can show before you start the activity.
Here We Go Round and Round is from Songs for Dancing.
Here’s an adaptation for 3-5 year olds!
Using the downloadable visual that comes with the CD, sing/play the song and point to the pictures, so the children get the road map.
For the verses: Teach/co-create the movement for ‘head,’ ‘arm,’ ‘leg,’ and ‘whole self.’ You can brainstorm with the children to decide specifics for in, out, and shake.
For all the chorus parts (“Here We Go Round and Round”), circle different body parts in place. During the transition, after “all on a beautiful day,” count down as you jump on your spot “4,3,2,1!”
Start with Dancer’s Choice or Teacher’s Choice (I do hips…. the hula hoop variety…. circling one way, then the other)
After that, for every chorus, use the body part that matches the verse.
Verse: Let’s put our head in…..
Chorus: Circle head one way, then the other.
Develop your own ideas for how to circle arms or legs. Brainstorm with the children and try different things on different days.
Conclude with ‘whole self’ turning around in space and help the children stop by saying “Feet Stay!” as the music ends!
I guarantee that these adaptations make a complex dance manageable for little ones!
Teach this to support naming and using parts of the body, moving on a steady beat, remembering a sequence, and for aerobic exercise.
Remember your job will be to cue or signal the transitions between each part. Leave the picture on the floor in front of you for quick reference.