During our connection to First Grade's movement unit, we played a variety of musical games and activities that gave the children experience in ten movement themes adapted from Rudolf von Laban. One morning I had a magic fishing pole that reeled 'em into the room by a body part of their choosing: an ear here, a knee, a hip. Some were surprisingly large fish, probably sharks, that took much more effort to pull in!
Awareness of Body Parts and Whole, Awareness of Quick and Slow movement, Awareness of Space (direct/indirect pathways), Awareness of Levels (High, Middle, Low), Awareness of Weight (Heavy/ Light), Awareness of Locomotion, Awareness of Flow (sudden/sustained, Sequential/simultaneous), Awareness of Shape, Awareness of Others (partners/groups), and Student Created Movement. We listened to varied recorded examples as we moved through creative movement activities: "Sleepers Awake," Bach's Cantata No. 140, "Undo" by Bjork, "Different Trains" by Steve Reich, and "Bachianas Brasileiras No. 2 (1930)" by Heitor Villa-Lobos.
We have been exploring a train theme, using the old rhyme, "Engine Engine No.9." Body percussion accompaniment to the words became the foundation for students to eventually compose their own melody on the barred instruments as an ensemble. Because they had internalized the form and rhythm through kinesthetic movement, they can fluently improvise their own melody along with the group.
"We sound really really good!" - Kate.
By the end of this track, the First Graders who boarded at the last station will take a whole step up to Second Grade.
Congratulations to all!