Thoughts on building a sequential movement vocabulary in the elementary music classroom

Q: I want to be more intentional about developing a movement vocabulary in my elementary music classes. Which one of your publications would be best for providing a sequence and some activities for doing this? I have all of your books. I just need guidance on where to start.

A: My books and music include many activities that align to concepts in music and dance. A concept-based approach to teaching is more effective and enduring than an activity-based approach. Students learn specific concept-related vocabulary. Teachers can layer on new concepts and vocabulary from week to week.
You, the teacher, can also REPEAT ACTIVITIES in different lessons THROUGH THE LENS OF A DIFFERENT CONCEPT.

Here is a suggested 9-week sequence, organized by concept, rationale, activities, age-ranges, and source material included.

Note:
I always start with a warm up, which may be my second lesson, having captured their interest with something exciting on the first day.

I use Brain Bop for warm ups. Sometimes, for K-1, I change it out with the warm ups on AlphaBeat or Everybody Do This from Songs for Dancing. For the most part, though, I favor the brain-based sequence (Anne Green Gilbert’s Braindance) found on Brain Bop.

  1. Concept: Place (Self & General Space)
    Rationale: To recognize and learn where we are in space, leaving room between self and others, moving and stopping, and traveling safely. The first lesson should be fun and exciting.Activity Examples:
    Step On the Beat (K -5) Step on the Beat
    Action Dance (K-3) AlphaBeat – self-space emphasis
    Do Your Own Dance (K-2) Songs for Dancing

     

  2. Direction (Up/down, Right and Left, Forwards and Backwards)
    Rationale: To learn how to describe and respond to all directional movement, whether moving in self or general space.

Activity Examples:
Sodeo (K-1) AlphaBeat
Apples and Oranges (K-5) Step on the Beat
Over the Top (3-5) Step on the Beat

 

  1. Level (High, Middle, Low)
    Rationale: To learn how to describe and respond to relative distance from the floor.

Activity Examples:
Hinging (3-5) Step on the Beat
Little Seed (K-2) AlphaBeat
Little Birdies (K) Songs for Dancing

 

  1. Spatial Relationships (Over, Under, Near, Far, Between, Around…..)
    Rationale: To understand our relationship to space, self and others in order to move with more skill and awareness. This also builds the vocabulary of preposition words and teaches positive and negative space.

Activity Examples:
Shape Maker/Shape Explorer (2-5) Step on the Beat
Travelers and the Magic Forest (1-2) AlphaBeat
Stick Together Game (K-5) Step on the Beat

 

  1. Expressive Qualities (Energy, Flow, Force, Weight)
    Rationale: To recognize the difference between smooth, sharp, shaky and swinging movement and explore creative ways of changing between these energies as students move in place and through space.

Activity Examples:
Popcorn and Melted Butter (K-2) Songs for Dancing
Imaginary Journey (K-2) AlphaBeat
Action Dance (K-2) AlphaBeat
Show Your Feelings (K-2) AlphaBeat
Near and Far (K-2) AlphaBeat

 

  1. Rhythm & Speed
    Rationale: To make the connection between the music and dance elements of tempo, pulse and pattern

    Activity Examples:
    Trip to the Zoo (Speed) (K-2) Songs for Dancing
    Flea Song (K) Songs for Dancing
    Everybody Do This (K-2) Songs for Dancing
    Apples and Oranges (K-5) Step on the Beat
    Here We Go Round and Round (K-2) Songs for Dancing
    Walking Song (K-2) Songs for Dancing

 

  1. Parts of the Body
    Rationale: To learn body parts vocabulary and explore creative ways of using parts of the body when moving, making shapes and working with others.

Activity Examples:
Hinging (3-5) Step on the Beat
Stick Together Game (K-5) Step on the Beat
Body Shape Jam (K-3) AlphaBeat
Here We Go Round and Round (K-2) Songs for Dancing
Flea Song (K) Songs for Dancing

 

  1. Pathways Floor and Air
    Rationale: To learn that we make patterns on the floor as we travel, and patterns in the air with different body parts, using different levels, directions, and spatial relationships.
     

     

    Activity Examples:
    Step On the Beat (K -5) Step on the Beat
    Down by the Station (K) Songs for Dancing
    Over the Top (3-5) Step on the Beat

 

  1. Shapes: Straight, Curved, Twisted, Angular, Symmetrical and Asymmetrical
    Rationale: To learn shape vocabulary and explore creative ways for use shapes when moving and working with others. Dances begin and end in a shape.

Activity Examples:
Shape Song (K-1) Songs for Dancing
Trees (K-2) AlphaBeat, followed by…
Travelers and the Magic Forest (K-2) AlphaBeat
Stick Together Game (K-5) Step on the Beat
Do Your Own Dance (K-2) Songs for Dancing
Over the Top (3-5) Step on the Beat

 

  1. Locomotor Movement
    Rationale: To learn and recognize the eight basic locomotor movements, individually and in movement sequences.

Activity Examples:
Locomotor Movement (K-5) AlphaBeat
Galloping Song (K) Songs for Dancing
Skipping Song (K-2) Songs for Dancing
Walking Song (K-2) Songs for Dancing

 

 

Other educators share their thoughts: 

Here’s what dance educator Betty A. from Urbana, IL says about her six-week creative dance unit organization:
“I use a variety of resources. But, my top choices would be the Anne Green Gilbert book (Creative Dance for All Ages)* and your resources. Any time someone asks for creative dance resources that is my standard answer. I do concept-based teaching. My focus is creative dance (dance elements -BEST – Body, energy, space, time). I try to teach one dance to all classes to discuss choreography. It might be a folk dance or a dance that we create together. 3rd through 5th grade always has a group choreography project using the concepts we have learned / explored. Of course, I try to cover all of the State Learning Standards, but often cannot get to all of them in 6 weeks.

 

*Kate adds: Anne Green Gilbert created a later publication called Brain-Compatible Dance Education. This book is organized by lesson plan component rather than concept, and included both many Braindance variations (like the material on my Brain Bop CD) AND references to Eric Chappelle’s companion music called Contrast and Continuum, Volumes I – IV. I use both books.

 

Here’s what dance educator Cissy W. from Lafayette, LA says about using my material in her units:

When I started trying to analyze how & when I use your CD’s at my various levels (K-5) and realized it was a very complex thing. I am not absolutely consistent with what I use first. Usually the Welcome Song followed by the Flea Song is a good start with my younger classes. I used to start with the Train Song, but now introduce that later in my sequence when we are studying pathways and sometimes even have 2 or 3 short trains going at once!  If I think they need to calm down and focus, I do the first section of the Brain Dance warm up from Brain Bop. Lately, I have been using the Galloping Song to transition from their table seats to their Poly spots on the dance floor. I use the Action Dance from AlphaBeat to review locomotors and break the ice with my new 3rd graders at the beginning of each 9 weeks. Other things are seasonal: The Haunted House in October, The More We Are Together for Valentine’s Day.

How do YOU organize YOUR dance unit?

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January 23, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Creative Dance Lesson Plans, Elements of Creative Dance, Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, Lesson Plan Organization, Teaching Tips, Working with Kate's Material. 1 comment.

Lesson Plan Series for Ages 3-5: Lessons 6 -10

This next set of 25-30 minute lessons would work best in a gross-motor space rather than the classroom. However, if you are restricted to your room, make sure to clear away the obstructions that will hamper your success. Guide children away from the edges of the space and into the open spaces.

I generally teach in a circle, the most democratic of spatial formations and also the one that leaves all that valuable real estate open in the center.  Go ahead and have some students be ‘jelly filling’ inside the ‘doughnut’ when possible.  Different children can have that privilege on different days.  You can also have every other child scoot forward from his/her spot on the circle, to leave more space on either side.

Another strategy for spreading children out is to use tape markings or portable markers, such as yoga squares.  You already may have carpets with designs on them that the children have become accustom to. Just make sure they aren’t jammed together.
Changing the way you use space is NEW and novelty always creates a little chaos.

Give this new spatial arrangement three times……by the third time of doing something differently, the children — and you — will have settled into a ‘new normal’ during movement time.

These lessons are on the concepts of Direction and Speed, Energy, Shape, and Body Parts.  In the middle of the sequence is a new warm up, to change up what you are doing with the children.  After you’ve done this new warm up 3-5 times, you can go back to the previous warm up and switch them out thereafter.  This is also true of welcome and hello songs and dances.

My ‘Rule of Three’ applies here, too.  Do a new hello song times, then switch it out with something different.  The children will appreciate the novelty at that point.

Lesson 6 Direction Speed 2014
Lesson 7 on Energy 2014

Lesson 8 New Warm Up 2014
Lesson 9 Shape
Lesson 10 Body Parts

Enjoy!

October 27, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Creative Dance Lesson Plans, Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, Studio Teaching, Working with Kate's Material. Leave a comment.

Lesson Plan Series for Ages 3-5: Lessons 1-5

This is the first of three posts. Each will provide you with a set of five lesson plans.

Here’s the back story:  I have been providing creative dance instruction at an early childhood center every spring for the many years.  Since teaching is always an opportunity to mentor the educators in the room, I also provide them with detailed lesson plans.  The plans here are from spring, 2014.

These lessons progress through a variety of dance concepts, such as place, direction, level.

You’ll get a good idea for how to shape a curriculum that moves the children from simple to more complex learning over the course of time, and for the value of repetition.  We know that learners benefit from the comfort of repetition and the excitement of novelty.  Striking a balance between the two is part of our job as educators.

For the most part, I teach in a gross-motor room, blocking off part of the space if it is too large, and indicating where to start as children enter the room in a moving line.  This start spot can be a yoga square or polyspot.   From that start spot, we travel until we arrive in a circle.

I do this to model a different way of experiencing a space that is usually dedicated to tricycle riding, running and climbing.

When I teach in the classroom, we form a circle.   Sometimes, when space is very tight, I bring spots to scatter so we aren’t bunched up together or bumping into the edges of the space (radiators, bookshelves, etc.)

If you teach in a studio, these lessons will work nicely as well.

I use a CD player or, when possible, I use an ipod or iphone with the playlist programmed in.  I also carry a binder with visual supports that I’ve made by downloading images from the internet, drawing my own pictures, or using the downloadable visuals on my Songs for Dancing CD.

In a previous post, I gave you images for Imaginary Journey (a song from Alphabeat).  Check that out to get an idea for how you can let the pictures explain some of the key images and ideas, and empower the children through visual literacy.

Happy Dancing!

As always, I welcome your comments on your experiences with working with the material.   Lesson 1 on Place 2014Lesson 2 Warm Up 2014Lesson 3 Direction 2014Lesson 4 Direction 2014Lesson 5 Level Direction 2014

 

 

October 5, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Creative Dance Lesson Plans, Elements of Creative Dance, Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, Working with Kate's Material. Leave a comment.

What to do with….Imaginary Journey

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.

Imaginary Journey Images

June 24, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , . Elements of Creative Dance, Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, What to do with...., Working with Kate's Material. 1 comment.

What to do with…Do Your Own Dance

Do Your Own Dance  is from Songs for Dancing.

Use this to teach the concepts of level, direction, or different movements to ages 3-7.

This dance can be done traveling through space with older children, or in-place with younger.

The form is:

  • Start in a shape
  • Do your own dance
  • Do different movements: hopping, jumping, turning, twisting.
  • Freeze in a shape. Change level from high to low, then back up to high.
  • Do your own dance
  • Do different movements: twirling, melting, popping, step-hop.
  • Freeze. Make a wide and high shape, like wings.
  • ‘Fly’ from high to low on your spot (or, if traveling, back to the circle).

 

 

How To Teach:

Formation: Circle or spread to a perfect spot.

Make different shapes: high and wide/big, low and closed/small. Stretch to make big, high shapes.  Bend to make small, low shapes.

Practice the easier movements: jump (two feet), hop (one foot), turn, twist, melt and pop.  Remember to keep your feet under you when you melt, so you can pop all at once or bit by bit.

Practice the challenging movement: step-hop.
Teaching Tip: Sing the Skipping Song melody (also from Songs for Dancing) to practice. “Step on one foot and hop on the same foot, step on the other foot and hop on that foot.”

To end, practice stretching out your wide “wings”, balancing on one leg, and flying from high to low.

Put on the song and go! Keep cuing what’s coming next, to help children stay with the sequence. Encourage variety in ‘do you own dance’ depending on your concept focus.

Extensions:

1. If you choose to develop the skill of moving through space with younger children, you can build up to it. First, do it in self space over several sessions. Then move it from place to place as younger children become more familiar with the structure of the song and competent in their use of space.

2. Turn this idea into a circle dance game, with one child at a time going into the middle to ‘do his/her own dance’ while everyone on the outside copies the moves.  Model the activity by showing one movement in the middle, then leave the circle and come in again with a different choice.  This suggests that the person in the middle do ONE movement choice. Call on raised hands or name the child to invite individuals into the circle.  Invite them out by saying, “Okay, next person.”   Invite shy children to go in two by two. Suggest movements (with a whisper word) to ‘frozen’ dancers.

End with everyone doing their own dance at the same time in their place or in the (crowded!) middle of the circle.

Try Free Dance from Songs for Dancing as the music for this, or other lively music.

This is a great work out!

February 15, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Creative Dance Lesson Plans, Developing Skills, Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, Studio Teaching, What to do with...., Working with Kate's Material. Leave a comment.

What to do with…The More We Are Together

What to do with….
The More We Are Together (from AlphaBeat)

Use this to teach the concept of Direction to ages 3-5.

The form is

1)   Sway side to side

2)   Swing forward and backward

3)   Sway side to side

Musical Interlude: Make your hands into butterflies.  Fly up and down, and then fly away (hands separate)

1)    Swing forward and backward

2)   Sway side to side

 

How To Teach:

Formation: Circle, sitting Ready Position (Legs crossed)

Teach the word direction.  Clap the syllables: Di-rec-tion.  Do it as call and response.

Teach the six directions.  Point and say each direction, then students respond.  Do this twice.

Forward! Backward!

Up! Down!

Side! Side!

 

In the first part of our dance, we’ll sway side to side.  Let’s do it!

(Sing: The more we are together, together, together, the more we are together the happier we’ll be)

In the next part we’ll swing our arms forward and backward as we sing.

(Sing: For your friends are my friends, and my friends are your friends)

We’ll end this part by swaying side to side again.

(Sing: The more we are together the happier we’ll be)

Stand Tall! 

Now let’s do it standing. (Sing and do.)

Add on:  Let’s add some forward and backward movement with our legs when we swing our arms forward and back.

Model: Step forward with one foot and close the other foot to it.  Step back with one foot and close the other foot to it.

Our feet do “go/stop!” forward and “go/stop!” backward as we swing our arms forward and backward.  Let’s practice!

“Go/stop!” “Go/stop! “Go/stop!” “Go/stop!”

How many times did we do  “Go/stop!”?  Four!

Let’s do it again.

(This teaches body control and shows the children that we only take ONE step forward and close to it before we repeat backward.  Otherwise, most children will run multiple steps forward and back, or ignore body control entirely)

 Now let’s do our dance from the beginning.

Side to side sways!

(Sing: The more we are together, together, together, the more we are together the happier we’ll be)

 

Forward and backward swings

“Go/stop!” “Go/stop! “Go/stop!” “Go/stop!”
(Tip: Sing the prompts to the melody of the song)

 

Side to side sways!

(Sing: The more we are together the happier we’ll be)

Teach the musical interlude:

Sit Ready Position.  Now let’s do butterflies.

Reach your arms straight in front of you, palms up.
Cross your wrists, palms still face up.
Hook your thumbs.  Now you have a butterfly!
(Fingers flutter)

Butterfly flies up … Butterfly flies down…

Butterfly flies up … Butterfly flies down…

Stand Tall!

Let’s do butterflies standing. (Repeat the whole process.  Fly up, fly down, then up to a middle level and butterflies ‘fly away’ – two hands separate, ready for the forward and backward swings.)

 We’ll end with ‘Go/Stop!’ and side sway!

Let’s do it all with music.

After a while you can replace ‘Go/Stop!’ with the lyrics (For your friends are my friends, and my friends are your friends).

Always give the basic cue before the transition, until they know the dance:

Side to side!
Forward and backward!

Make butterflies!

Butterflies fly away and swing forward and back?

Side to side!

 Enjoy!

 

 

January 31, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Creative Dance Lesson Plans, Elements of Creative Dance, Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, Studio Teaching, What to do with...., Working with Kate's Material. 1 comment.

What to do with …. Apples and Oranges

What to do with….
Apples and Oranges (from Step on the Beat)

I’ve talked about Apples and Oranges in other blog posts, connected to teaching galloping, for example.

(If you don’t already have it, you can purchase Step on the Beat through my website, katekuper.com, or from West Music.)

The children asked to include this dance as a favorite activity for our Informance (Open House, informal presentation of a lesson).

We identified “Body Parts and Energy” as the conceptual through-line for the 4 & 5 year olds’ Informance.

For 6-7 year olds, the concept focus was “Body Parts and Shape.”

Here’s how we adapted Apples and Oranges for each age group, conceptual focus, and lesson plan component:

1) For 4-5s, as a Creating activity

Creating includes invention and/or improvisation.  We decided to make the A section focus “Body Parts.”

After learning the clapping pattern A section, we asked the children to suggest using a different body part other than the knees for the ‘slap.’ What should it be?  We performed that part in the section, with the ‘circle round’ that we do in place with younger children (or when we want to go quickly through the dance), where we just turn around on our spot .

After practicing, we chose ANOTHER body part for the second ‘slap.’

Then we put it all together: slap/clap/slap/clap/ And turned the other way for  ‘circle round’//

Time for the B section focusing on “Energy.”

Next, we designated half the group as Apples, half as Oranges. (Since parents were dancing with the children, we had people choose by raise of hands, rather than half and half or every other one).

Leader modeled how Apples would  ‘dance away’ and ‘dance back home’ WITH A SPECIFIC ENERGY while Oranges would stay and clap on the pulse.  We chose swinging movement away, and shaky movement home.

But wait!  Why should the travelers have all the fun?  Those who stayed had to keep the pulse tapping on A SPECIFIC BODY PART.

Everyone practiced.  Then MUSIC GO!

2) For 6-7s as a Developing Skills activity

Developing Skills is about hard-wiring technical abilities and challenging memory within sequence.

First, we focused on Body Parts. We practiced the B section traveling movement in scattered space: side slide with head going up toward the ceiling and center (area of the belly button) drawing a letter “U” with every slide.  Skip with knees lifting up.  Gallop with one foot chasing the other, pointing the toes … like a real chassé!

Second, we emphasized Body Parts and Shape for the A section.
Find a partner and a spot in scattered space. Practice slap & clap.  Add one body part for the slap (idea from the children that we all use) and clap.  Add second part and clap.  Sequence first-part slap/ clap, second-part slap/ clap.  Teach ‘angular elbows’ around for an elbow swing with your partner.  Ask for prediction, when we repeat, what will happen with elbow swing? (We’ll go the other way).

Here comes the shape emphasis.

Decide who is an Apple and Orange in each pair.

Apples will travel.  Oranges will stay.

Travelers will use two of the three locomotor skills we practiced earlier.  (Travel away with the side slides and back with the gallop.)

Oranges will MAKE A BODY SHAPE and keeping the pulse WITH ONE BODY PART (can be audible or visual).  Nod a head! Tap a foot! Bounce into one hip! (Etc.)

All practice shape and keeping the pulse.

Then practice travel and shape/pulse.  Practice trading.

MUSIC GO!  On second travel, skip away and gallop back.

December 14, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Creating, Developing Skills, Elements of Creative Dance, Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, Recitals, Studio Teaching, What to do with...., Working with Kate's Material. Leave a comment.

What to do with… Locomotor Movement (from AlphaBeat)

 

Download the track from iTunes or purchase the recording in its entirety one of the vendors who carries my CDs or from me (katekuper.com)

Kindergarten through 2nd grade
Note: Adaptable for older preschoolers and grades 3-4

Gross motor skills are the building blocks of movement combinations, important for physical fitness enjoyment, play, coordination and brain health.

Group movement in general space encourages students to use awareness and self control in a communal setting.  These skills translate into better interactions on the playground, in the hallways and the lunchrooms.

Teaching locomotor movement is important for all these reasons.

A crucial skill is the ability to successfully guide students as they travel through the general space. This requires using clear language and smart strategies that help students build motor coordination while still being safe.

Strategies include:

Awareness of others;  self control

Use concentration and body control.
Move into the empty spaces, so you don’t get hurt.
Use your peripheral vision, your soft focus.  Eyes everywhere.
Bodies move, mouths don’t.

Awareness of the space

“This is the area for movement and these are the boundaries.”
Jog the periphery (or have a student demonstrator do it) to show the boundaries.
If the space is too big, set up a spatial barrier (e.g. traffic cones)
If the space is too small, take turns. Watchers sit in ready position, hands in laps, while Movers travel around and between.

Clear signals for starts and stops

Teach your signals and use them consistently.

Stops: When I guide children to move on a slow or medium speed, a double-beat on the drum is enough to signal ‘Freeze.’ For faster movement, first shake the drum to alert them that the Freeze sound is coming, then play the double-beat for stillness.

Starts: Stand up. Listen to the drum (or voice) for the speed and pulse of the movement.
Speak on the pulse, over the sound of the drum: “One, two, ready, start.”  After a while, the drum can do all the ‘talking.’

Clear signals for transitions.

As we change from one thing to another in a movement sequence, give advanced notice, several beats ahead.

Choices and Consequences

Don’t be afraid to stop the music/activity, have everyone sit, ask the children to tell you why you stopped the activity, review concentration and body control, and invite everyone to start again.

“If you don’t think you have the body control for this activity, you may sit here or here.”
Always invite the person who sat out to come right back in on the next activity.  This is not a punishment, but an opportunity to observe what others are doing accurately.

Setting Up Instruction for  Locomotor Movement (from AlphaBeat)
There are eight basic locomotor movements: walk, run, hop, jump, gallop, side slide, skip and leap.

Students begin in a seated position, in a circle or in scattered space.


Move your arms like an old fashion locomotive train and say: Locomotor movement goes from one place to another.

Do this as a call and response several times.

Check for understanding: What do you call movement that goes from one place to another?

Next, call on individual students to model different forms of locomotor movement by traveling around the inside of the circle, so that all can see. 

Connect the exploration to letter sound recognition, as modeled in the following examples.

Change students each time.

To address diverse strengths in your students, you might have one student name the movement, and another demonstrate it.

I’m thinking of a locomotor movement that we all use to go from one place to another that starts with the “w” sound? What is it?   (Select one student to model “walk).

I’m thinking of a locomotor movement we use to go quickly from one place to another that starts with the “r” sound(Student models “run.”  Or you could say “j” sound for “jog”)

I’m thinking of a locomotor movement we do on one foot that starts with the “h” sound?  (Student models “hop”).

I’m thinking of a locomotor movement we do on two feet that starts with the “j” sound?  (Student models “jump”).

I’m thinking of a locomotor movement that ponies do that starts with the “g” sound?  (Student models “gallop”).

Now that we are all going to be moving through the space, it’s time to learn about general space

General space is the space we share as we travel from one place to another.

When you move through the general space, you’ll need body control and concentration.  

Let’s scoop up a little concentration dust and rub it in.
You’ll also want to be like a potato…. eyes everywhere, but no mouth.

Remember to move into the empty spaces so you don’t get hurt.  

Stand tall one and all.

Let’s travel through the general space doing these locomotor movements.   My drum will talk to you with the pulse of the movement.  When you hear the freeze sound, stop!  Let’s walk……(freeze) Let’s do the movement that goes on one foot….hop! (freeze) Let’s do the movement that starts with the ‘g’ sound….gallop (freeze).  What locomotor movement starts with the “j” sound and uses two feet off the ground?  Jump…. (Freeze). Good job moving into the empty spaces!

Sit ready position. 

Now play the song!  You have prepared the group to be successful.

Note: The last locomotor movement in the song is RUN.

Options for this:

1)   Divide the group in half. Half will sit while the others run the boundaries. Then trade.

2)   All run the boundaries.

After the song, take time to breath and recover. The song recaps the different locomotor movements musically. This can be a time when students are breathing.  Use some of the language connections for summative reflection.

November 18, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Developing Skills, Elements of Creative Dance, Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, What to do with...., Working with Kate's Material. Leave a comment.

A Lesson on Energy for 4-5 year olds

Energy is an element of Force,  as described in the Laban vocabulary.
Force includes Energy, Weight, and Flow.

Some educators organize Energy under “Dance is BEST,” where the “E” stands for Energy.
(The other letters stand for Body, Space and Time.)

This is the 6th lesson in the sequence.

Energy addresses HOW we do something.  Emotion and expression are also part of Energy. The vocabulary in this concept includes smooth, sharp, shaky and swinging movement.

You could easily teach Show Your Feelings! from AlphaBeat as part of this lesson, and reflect on the different energy qualities found in emotion, expression and states of being.

Another way to explore Energy is to dance to the qualities of different, contrasting music excerpts and to different instruments, played live.

6 Energy for Ages 4 -5

November 5, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Creative Dance Lesson Plans, Elements of Creative Dance, Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, Working with Kate's Material. Leave a comment.

A Lesson on Speed for 4-5 year olds

Speed is an element of Time.

This lesson is 5th in the sequence.

Now that children have some familiarity with pathway, direction, size, level and place, they can work more successfully as they travel or move in one spot slowly and quickly.  They have more ‘tools in their toolbox’ for creative choices.  They can now focus on moving to the pulse, an excellent music connection.

Look for books and music resources that reinforce the concept of speed as a follow-up or lead-in to this lesson.

5 Speed for Ages 4-5

Enjoy!

October 14, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Creative Dance Lesson Plans, Elements of Creative Dance, Kate Kuper on Teaching Creative Dance, Studio Teaching, Working with Kate's Material. Leave a comment.

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