Ready-To-Use Teaching Idea: Movement
Objective: Children will follow verbal directions, using movement and problem-solving skills to play a cooperative game.
Warm-up: Gather children together to sing action songs that include body parts, such as "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" or "If You're Happy and You Know It."
1 Choose one child to be "It," and help the rest of the group divide into partners. If one child is left over, be that child's partner.
2 Explain that the child who is It will call out "body part commands" for partners to follow. For instance, It might call out, "Big toe to big toe!" "Back to back!" or "Elbow to elbow!" Partners, then, need to follow the commands, touching and connecting to each other using the body part named. Each time a new direction is called out, partners must detach and reconnect. After children have tried that a few times, add another option. Explain that It can also call out "Change!" When that happens, players must find new partners, and the player who's left gets to be the new It.
3 Increase the complexity of the game by challenging children to listen and follow commands consecutively. In other words, partners try to keep touching the first body parts called while they then do the second command.
Remember: Children may need a reminder to include the command "Change!" so that others can get a turn to be It.
Tip: It may be easier for some children to find ways to connect body parts if they are sitting or lying on a rug instead of standing up.
- Expand on this game by inviting three or four children to play together as partners, trying to find ways they can all connect their bodies to follow the commands.
- Clear a large space and ask children to help you tape squares of colored construction paper all over the floor. Explain that you are going to play the Toe-to-Toe game still using "body part commands" but now adding "color commands." After children have had a chance to "partner up," ask one set of partners to work together - one person calling the body part and the other giving children a choice of one or two colors to touch at the same time.
Have fun with these books about movement.
A Moving Experience by Theresa Benzwie
Be a Frog, Be a Bird, Be a Tree: Creative Yoga for Children by R. Carr
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle