Moving Is Learning!
Connie has been blogging since 2011. Her posts range from tips for teachers, the benefits of dance, playful class plans, to how to choose a creative dance class for your child, and much, much more! All of her posts are below, starting with the most recently-published ones.
Movement, Play, and SEL: Create a Picture Book Dance Story (Guest Blog Post for Free Spirit Publishing)
This is one of my favorite children's books. It is a creative, imaginative story told with fun and grace. Your students will enjoy this dramatic play and dancing activity after you have read the story aloud.
Music: One lively, upbeat instrumental musical selection
Space: The children can move all together in the shared space, or you can divide them up into two or three groups, one group dancing while the others watch. Give the audience group a task, such as, What do you think it would feel like to have enormous antlers on your head?
As you give a movement prompt, allow time for the children to develop each idea in movement. Say to the children:
Imagine waking up in the morning. Stretch, yawn, and suddenly you notice something unusual coming out of your head. You have antlers!
Feel all around your head. Reach as high as you can -- they are very tall antlers! Let me see your surprised face, your happy face, your scared face, your silly face.
Now jump out of bed and run to the mirror. Let me see your surprised face again!
Try to get dressed. Can you pull your shirt over your head? Get your shirt stuck in your antlers like Imogene did.
How about trying to comb your hair? What else do you need to do to get ready this morning?
Now try going through the door. Imagine you are bumping your antlers. Let's try it three times, 1, 2, 3 . . . but you can't do it! Figure out that you have to turn sideways and scoot very carefully through the door.
Now let's slide down the bannister, here we go! Uh-oh, your antlers are stuck in the chandelier! Twirl around as you hang from the chandelier!
Imagine you are Imogene's mother when she first sees the antlers. Gently fall to the floor as if you were fainting.
Now imagine you are the person carrying her all the way upstairs. It is hard to carry someone up the stairs, isn't it?
Hang some towels to dry on your antlers! What else can you hang on them? Put some donuts on the antlers. Go outside and imagine all the birds coming to eat food off of your antlers.
Imagine you are a bird -- fly through the sky! Come in for a landing. What an exciting day!
Now stretch, yawn and get ready for bed. Lie down and pretend you are sleeping. It's difficult to find a way to put your head on the pillow! You have had quite a big day, dealing with those huge antlers.
Now it is the next morning. Wake up, yawn and stretch. Suddenly you remember about your amazing adventure yesterday with your antlers.
Reach up to touch your antlers. Surprise -- they are gone! But now, another surprise -- peacock feathers! Imagine you are a strutting peacock, showing off your tail.
Now take a bow with your enormous tail to end our story.
Play the music and ask the children to do a free dance about all of the movement ideas they just explored. Finish once again with a big bow and a flourish of the imaginary peacock tail.