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Name of Activity:

We Are the World – Parachute Dance

Purpose of Activity:

To teach children to perform a parachute dance which promotes rhythm and coordination.

Suggested Grade Level:

K-5

Materials Needed:


“We are the World” – Single - U.S.A. for Africa (available on iTunes and Amazon as downloads)
Parachute

Beginning dance formation:

The parachute is laid out on the floor. Students walk in during the introduction in the music and take theirs assigned spots on the parachute. They will face the parachute and hold it in both hands with an overhand grip. The parachute should be held at waist level.

Description of Idea

The following steps are done during the verse of the song. The song begins with 2 verses so the movement is done to the RLRL and repeated again RLRL.

Step-Close Sequence: This should be done with knees flexed and extended and arms moving up and down:


1-16 -- Step R to R side and close L, taking weight onto the L foot (2 counts). Repeat the move for a total of 4 times for a total of 8 counts. On the last count, tap with the L foot so that the move can be reversed.

1-16 -- Step L to the L side and close R, taking weight onto the R foot (2 counts). Repeat the move for a total of 4 times for a total of 8 counts.

This sequence is done during the chorus: The Mushroom Move Sequence:


1-8 – Touch the toes (2 counts) Raise the arms to the waist (3-4) and then above the head making the parachute lift into the air to form a “mushroom.” (5-8)

1-4 -- Students march under the parachute for 4 counts. 

1-4 -- Students march back from under the parachute for 4 counts.
Repeat this again for a total of 32 counts.

Towards the end of the song the chorus is repeated several times. The following movements are included:

Sway Sequence:

1-8 -- Students will all sway to the R for 2 counts, and back to the L for 2 counts.

This is usually repeated for a total of 32 counts.

Mushroom/Walk:

1-8 – Touch the toes (2 counts) Raise the arms to the waist (3-4) and then above the head making the parachute lift into the air to form a “mushroom.” (5-8)

1-8 – Holding the parachute with the R hand above the head walk 8 counts.

Reverse this movement using the L hand and marching 8 counts.

Sway and Reach step:

1-8 -- Students will all sway to the R for 2 counts, and back to the L for 2 counts.
4-8 – Students will step back with the R foot and extend R arm back. Step back and place R hand back on the parachute.

Repeat this to the L.

This is usually done for 32 counts.

Ripple Movement:

Starting at 1 spot on the parachute bring arms and parachute up and then down. Each section of the parachute goes a different count making the parachute have a “ripple movement” around the circle. Reverse the ripple movement. This ripple on the video took 24 counts. It can be increased to 32 counts if the class is larger or the students can move 2 at a time.

When put to music, the steps are done in the following order:


Assessment Ideas:

The students can be assessed on their ability to remember the pattern sequence and stay with the rhythm of the song. Students can be allowed to add their own ideas as a substitute for one of the repetitive steps. If you have more than one parachute divide your class and challenge each group to come up with a different step to replace one of the steps.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Feel free to just use some of the movements and repeat them more times for those students who may have cognitive disabilities. Many of the movements can be adapted to use just the upper body.

Video:


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Submitted by Brenda Goodwin who teaches at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 10/4/2017.

Viewed 2048 times since 10/4/2017.

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Previous Comments:

Lorri from Va Bch

Boring routine. I'd like to see my kindergartners do this from memory.nice try college kids.

We Are the World ? Parachute Dance
Materials