Thursday, March 25, 2010

More Word Play

Students learned a new short dance that included rhythmic hand motions (clap, slap, open/close, circling) as well as traveling sideways, forward and back without  losing the circle formation.  Dancing in unison in a group takes practice, focus, and teamwork and the students are gaining a deeper understanding of each of these.

We reviewed our descriptive words from last week with shapes and improvised dances. Some of the words we reviewed included round, bumpy, smooth, pointy, and itchy. Then we worked in groups to explore new objects and discover new words to describe them. Although all the kids examined the same objects, each group came up with a unique set of words. One group of kindergardeners explored dropping straight down, moving lightly, and moving in a smooth fashion. They put all of these together to make a dance in three parts. The other group of kindergardeners explored the words stretchy, bumpy, and sparkly, and created a dance that cycled through the three words with increasingly shorter intervals.

The First Grade class had one group that used springy, floating, and jiggly. and they spent time exploring how to apply each of these to different parts of the body (elbows, hips, hands, head, etc). Then they shared their dance with the other half of the class. The second group explored bendy, bouncy, and skinny, and found new places in their body to create the words while also changing levels.
In addition to their movement skills, the students are developing how to be good audience members by watching one another. While observing, they discover a vocabulary to describe their classmates' dances.
The students are becoming articulate with their bodies and their minds are getting quicker at solving movement problems. We look forward to meeting again in two weeks after the Spring Vacation Break!


Some things to enjoy at home over spring break:

- Collect small objects and explore them one-by-one and come up with a list of descriptive words
- Incorporate how the object moves by exploring how it drops, rolls, it sounds it makes, etc.
- Put each of the words on an index card so you have a pile of cards with one word on each card
- Place the cards in the middle of the floor face-down
- Step in, draw a card, and improvise a dance based on that word
- Put the card at the bottom of the pile and continue until all the cards have been danced!

- Lay the cards out in three separate rows and recite them as a poem or sing them in a song

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