Step 1: Warm up
Ask students to find a place in the room where they will not touch each other or another object. Share the reasons for “warming up” our bodies with students (to focus attention and get the body ready to move).
Warming up is movement done in personal space (within “body bubble”). Ask students to follow the leader through a series of movements: Bend,
twist, and reach above your head. Tell students that at least one body part must stay anchored to the ground at all times, like the root of a tree. No falling down.
Remind students of safe movement—no bumping into each other or things in the room.
Teaching Tip: Reference Dance Activities for warm-up exercise ideas.
Step 2: How bodies move
Talk with students about all the ways our bodies move. Starting at the head, ask students to name the parts of the head that move, then proceed down to the neck/shoulders, all the way to the toes, moving each part as a group when identified.
Next, add music to the movement, having them move instructed body parts to the beat of the music. Discuss how beat and movement work together: How does moving on the beat feel? How is it different from moving in silence? What does moving to the beat remind you of?
Teaching Tip: Create a cool-down routine at the end of each dance class. The same way we “warm our bodies up,” we need to cool and calm them down. This ensures they are focused and ready to move on through their day.
Use Dance Activities for examples of cool-down exercises to try.
Step 3: Freeze!
Talk about the concept of freezing or stopping while in motion. This is an important concept for control, safety, and hearing next instructions. Practice stopping the music periodically and have students freeze. Make sure they freeze immediately. Make it a game to see how fast they can freeze in place and be ready to listen for instructions.
Have students to find a new space somewhere else in the room and repeat moving and freezing. Resume music, move, and freeze. Repeat multiple times.
Step 4: Moving through space
Ask students to name all the ways we can get from one place to another? (Use an example like moving from a desk to the rug.) Walk, skip, gallop, slide, tiptoe, crawl, jump, or hop.
Clear a space and select a few students to model walking around the room encouraging them not to bump into each other. Say, “freeze”.
Students should freeze mid-step and then take their place with the class.
Repeat with a few more students and another locomotor movement (e.g., gallop) and freeze. Repeat with another movement and new students. Freeze.
Have the class move to one side of the room and sit down. Lead two or three students at a time across the floor doing a variety of locomotor movements: gallop, slide, skip, hop, jump, march, skate, tiptoe. When you and the small group reach the other side, ask those students to sit down where they are. Return to the larger group, select another two or three students, and lead them across the floor doing another locomotor movement. Repeat until all students have had a chance to move across the floor.
After you lead each group, remember to ask the class, “What does it mean to move safely”? “How did you make sure you were moving safely and controlled?”
If time, practice having the students move across the room without you leading them. Stand off to the side and just give verbal directions.