M. FRANCINE JENNINGS, Ed. D
Educator, Teaching Artist, Arts Integration Specialist
8 Fun Movement Activities
2. Body Isolation Line Up
1. Skeletons on the Runway
When teaching about bones in the body, allow students to put together a skeleton fashion show. Assign specific skeletal parts for students to highlight as they walk down the runway. Students should give themselves names to align with skeletal names. They should also be encouraged to do movements to emphasize skeletal parts. For example, a student demonstrating the cranium might have the name, Mr. Bighead Cranium, and may walk, skip, run, etc. down the runway bobbing his head. Other students will be assigned to be commentators introducing and describing the skeletal part.
Students are instructed to line up according to the month and day of their birthdays. Keeping hands locked behind their backs, they must accomplish the task without speaking, without using their hands, without stomping their feet, without drawing numbers/symbols with their feet, and without using props. Once the task is completed, allow them to discuss the body parts that were isolated to promote communication; then find out how well accurately they lined themselves up.
3. Bodily Character Sketch
When exploring synonyms, have students to create movements that demonstrate words nuances.
For example, have students to demonstrate spatial differences between small and tiny, eat and devour, big and gigantic, etc.
After studying characters in a play, book, poem, etc, ask students to think about specific gestures and movement styles that might be assigned to particular characters. For example, in thinking about Harriet Tubman, ask students to think about gestures she might make when standing still, how her body might look sitting in a chair, how her body might look when she’s relaxing with her family, etc. After thinking about various scenarios, allow students to create the movements and explain how the movements relate to the essence of the particular character.
5. Freeze Pose
Once all of your students get into class, without speaking, strike a pose as an attention getter. Upon seeing your pose, one by one, students are to strike their own poses. Once the entire class has shown a pose, everyone slowly melts out of their poses into their seats.
6. Beginning, Middle, End
After reading a story, have students to come up with a 3 part tableau (frozen picture) depicting the beginning, middle, and ending of the story. In each part, instruct students to incorporate a subtle moving component that would occur every 10 seconds. For example, the ending tableau of Goldilocks might depict Goldilocks in a frozen running position, Mama Bear on her knees with arms raised (frozen), Papa Bear with balled up fists reaching towards Goldilocks (frozen) and baby bear on the floor tugging at Mama Bear’s dress every 10 seconds.
7. Movement Inferences
Without sound, show a clip of a video that you think your students may not have seen. Instruct your students to pay close attention to gestures, expressions and movements of the characters. At the end of the clip, have students to work in pairs to discuss their opinions about what was going on in the video. Have them to justify their ideas based on movements they observed.
8. Skip Counting Wave
To reinforce skip counting of specific numbers, first have students to do “the wave” as if they were at a ball game. Then, decide which numbers you will have the students to skip count. Assign each student a number that he or she will say while doing the wave. For example, if the class is skip counting by 5, the first person waves saying 5, the second waves saying 10, etc. Once students feel more confident with the content, they can do the wave to a rhythm or song!