Name/Title: Add-on Line Dancing

Purpose of Event: For students to practice sequencing and coordinating various movements to music.

Prerequisites: The ability to move different body parts to music.

Suggested Grade Level: 3-5

Materials Needed: CD/cassette boom box; music.

Description of Idea

Get students enthused about the activity by first letting them vote for the music they want to move to that day (give them a few choices; don't tell them it's for "dance"!). When they have chosen the music for the day, have them find a self space and clap and move to the beat in their space for the duration of the song-- it can be any movement, from an exercise such as jumping jacks, to shrugging one's shoulders, to just moving one's feet. (Do different movements yourself, to give students different ideas. Include a few "moving" movements, such as moving forward four steps and backward four steps, etc.)

Once you've gone through the song one time (so students have an idea of the beat), let students know they will be all be putting their various movements together, adding each person's movement to the next until you have a whole sequence of movements. Tell each person they have a few minutes to make up a movement to perform to eight beats of the song. Their movement may stay in their self space, or it may move (such as sliding sideways right for four beats and then left for four beats). Let them know that at the end of the few minutes, they will be asked to "teach" their movement to another person in the class and then eventually the whole class -- so they need to come up with something!

After a few minutes, ask students to get with one other person and "teach" their partner their movement, and visa-versa. After learning their partner's movement, they should then put their two movements together to make a sequence of two movements. Give students a few moments to work on this together, observing to see students who may be having difficulties.

Bring all the students together; let them know they will now be teaching their movement to the whole class. Discuss with them that they are expected to respect all steps that are demonstrated and students who demonstrate. Now have all students stand on a line, facing the same direction, with enough space in between each other to move safely. Ask for a volunteer to come in front of the line and teach their movement to the class. This student steps forward and demonstrates the step; the whole class practices this step without the music. Then turn the music on and perform the step with themusic. Stop the music and ask for another volunteer to teach the next step. That student steps forward and demonstrates; everyone then practices it, then "adds" it on to the first movement learned. When you see that everyone has it (practice the sequence again if they don't), turn on the music and perform the two movements in sequence. Continue asking for volunteers to "teach" their movement; continue adding the movements on -- first practicing the sequence without music, then adding the music -- until everyone has had an opportunity to teach their movement.

Assessment Ideas:

Use direct observation to see if students have difficulties with sequencing and/or coordinating the movements.

If you use a self-responsibility model such as Hellison's model, you can also observe for students who are acting respectful of other's ideas and putting forth effort into learning the movements (Levels 3 and/or 4).

Teaching Suggestions:

Depending upon your students, it may be best to not even call what you are doing a "dance".

If you notice a student who is not comfortable moving to the beat in the beginning, quietly move to that person. Encourage them to come up with an exercise they can do to the beat. By allowing students to use any movement (not just what some might consider "dance" movements), you are helping all students to see that dance is just performing different movements to a beat!

This activity works quite well with students with most disabilities. Depending on the disability, they may not be expected to do the steps exactly the right way, but can 'move and groove'.

If a movement is inappropriate, it is not added on.

Submitted by Tamara  Henderson who teaches at Emerson and Lincoln Elementary Schools in Elmhust , IL . Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 4/27/2001.
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