Monday, May 3, 2010

Exploring Science Through Movement: Flower Dance

I am a guest in a first grade class today.  Our theme: Flowers.  The class has been learning about the parts of a flower and the teacher wants me to come in and create a movement activity based on this unit.
After the movement activity the kids will write in their own words how a flower grows.

Parts of a Plant
In order for us to delve into movement ideas, we have to understand/review what we are exploring.
  • roots- which takes in the water for the plant (low level)
  • leaf- makes the food for the plant (low to  middle level)
  • stem- carries water from the roots up the plant (middle to high level)
  • flower- makes seeds (high level)
What plants need to live
Without any of these four elements, plants would not be able to grow.
  • water (rains down, sprinkles, drips, pours)
  • sunlight ( radiates, beams, shines)
  • soil (covers, surrounds, holds, blankets)
  • air (can see but can feel around us. Blows side to side, forward and back)
 How a plant grows
Plants don't just pop out of the ground. They grown slowly.  They grow down before they grow up and up and up.
  • A seed is placed under ground and covered with soil
  • Roots reach down and sprouts reach up
  • Petals expand wide as the stem continues to grow up
  • Flower blooms and opens
Flower Dance
From what we know about flowers, I am going to have the class piece together the dance.  We will have a beginning:  the seed, a middle: sprouting, an ending: the bud opening. And we will connect these three parts of our dance with the action of the soil surrounding, the rain dripping, the sunlight beaming and the air blowing.

I don't know exactly what the dance will look like until I see it unfold in front of me.  I will take their knowledge of plants and help them translate it into movement. The hardest part of an activity like this is to keep the focus on movement and action instead of acting.

For an activity like this it is also important to utilize the students' knowledge, this way the movement activity can be an assessment piece for the teacher.  It also enables the students to delve deep into movement concepts (levels, shape, direction) and can be a assessment activity for you as well.

April showers bring May flowers outside and inside the classroom as well.

Have fun exploring, dancing and blooming with the children in your life!


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