Idea and Movement: How-To

Basic instructions:

  • Have participants find their own personal space around the room/carpet.
  • Simultaneously, but in students’ individual spaces, students create a gesture or movement based on a prompt, word, or concept (give them 1 minute or so to create)
  • Teacher can then highlight one student’s movement. Ask other students to describe what they see, to analyze what they think that movement means, and then think about how that movement relates to the prompt, word, or concept.

Variations:

  • Spotlight Students: Invite 4-5 students to come to the front of the room and stand in a line. Have other students act as audience members. Have each student share a movement that relates to a prompt, word, or concept. After each student shares his/her movement, have all students repeat the movement. After the second movement is shown, go back to the first movement and link the first and second movement together. Repeat steps until all 4 or 5 students have shared their movements and you have linked them all together.
  • Stand in a circle with whole class for: For Upper Elementary and up: Students stand in a circle. Each student comes up with a movement for a prompt word or concept. Go around the circle and have students share their individual movements. Everyone repeats each movement. (Challenge: have students try and link all movements together)
  • Students can sit at their desks and share movements and/or gestures

Scaffolding Tips for Success:

  • For Lower Elementary, work on creating movements in their own personal space, highlighting one movement, and having whole class repeart this movement until you build the “movement phrase”
  • Notice and point out details of the movements. Did the participant use their right or left hand for the gesture? Did the participant say the word then do the gesture or was it simultaneous (if words used)? Etc.

Curricular Applications:

Building Community: Students can create a movement for their names and then create a movement phrase that encompasses all students’ names.

Science: Properties of Matter. Have students create a movement phrase that represents a solid, liquid and gas.

Reading: After a read aloud, have students brainstorm the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Students can create a movement phrase that represents the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

Letters of the Alphabet: Have students create a movement phrase for the letter A. Brainstorm with students the various things that start with the letter A. Have students create movements for these things that start with the letter A, such as an airplane, automobile. Pick 5 movements that represent these objects and have students link them together. Repeat for any letter of the alphabet.

Teaching procedures and routines: For example, brainstorm with students the steps necessary to be successful when washing your hands. Have students create a movement phrase that represent these steps.

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