Monday, September 8, 2014

Facilitating Movement (Verbs and Adverbs)

Facilitating movement in the elementary classroom is a little bit more involved than one might think. If you just have the kids get up and start moving around the room it can easily become chaotic and someone might get hurt. Here are some suggestions for getting started:

  • Let the students know that they are going to do a movement activity and why.
  • Develop a detailed procedure for moving the furniture to allow room for movement. Make sure each child knows what he or she will be doing during the moving of the furniture. Be sure that they also know what to do when they are done. I suggest having them sit quietly on the floor.
  • Have the students look around the classroom space and describe how they are situated within that space.
  • Have the students stand on a signal and in a given amount of time move so that they are evenly divided within the space.
  • Use a drum or other percussion instrument to keep a beat. Have the students move to the beat when the drum plays. Do this while seated. Give options for what to move (head, shoulders, toes, hands, etc.). Make sure everyone is successful starting and stopping.
  • Invite the students to use locomotor movement with the beat (walk, hop, run). Specify which type of locomotor movement they will use. Have them freeze then the sound stops.
  • You could also have them freeze at different levels (high, middle, or low), like an object or animal, etc., and/or evenly spaced within the movement area.
  • Have them move in a specific way (adverbs: happily, lethargically, etc.). 
  • Combine verbs and adverbs (walk lightly, for example).
  • The possibilities are endless with this approach to what my students used to call "freeze dance."
  • Develop a procedure for putting the furniture back where it was. 

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