Increasing Movement Awareness through Drama Activities  (K & Sp.Ed.)

 

 

Target Classroom: Integrated Kindergarten ages 5-6

Objective:   Increase movement awareness; provide time out of wheelchair while integrating handicapped children into classroom.  Increase awareness that different ways of moving are acceptable.

  Materials:  picture books with animals  (may be related to specific animal group or environment being studied).

Procedure:  Begin by having students sit on the floor as in circle time. Discuss how different animals move…. some use 4 feet; some use 2 feet, some slither, etc.  Talk about the different way animals use their bodies to do different things…eat, dig and bury objects, climb etc.   Have the students’ think of an animal they would like to “ become”, and think about how that animal moves as it lives through a day.  Have the students spread out in the classroom and ask them to pretend to move like the animal of their choice for 2 minutes.  Assist students as needed in the movements. Ask students to tell which animal they imitated and say what it felt like to move like that animal.  Point out the many different ways animals and people move.

 Response to Lesson Plan 1

     I wanted to do this with a classroom group I had worked with last year because although I knew the ability level of about 6 of the students, I did not yet know 4 new students in the class.  I felt this would be a good way to assess their motor planning skills and to learn their names, as well as help them to learn who is who in their class.  These children are moderately to severely impaired with a variety of diagnosis from autistic to cerebral palsy, and have both language and motor difficulties. 

     The first thing I did was to modify the lesson plan on the spot to eliminate the snapping of fingers, which was motorically too difficult for all but 3 children.  (I replaced the snap with a gesture of pointing to “myself” then to another student while saying the name).  Other modifications made were for the nonverbal autistic children; the adults in the room (1:1 aides) said the names as the child pointed to themselves and someone else.  This helped to reinforce the pattern and work on the individual’s speech goals as well as gross motor goals.  I found that adding the name part was difficult for many of the students, but if the rhythm was slow enough all the students could perform the motions and “say” the names.

     I will continue to use this activity during my group opening circle time and expect that I can use it to demonstrate improvement in motor planning at the end of the school year.  I think the students will be able to increase their speed to a rhythm rate closely approximating what their regular education peers would be able to do by the end of the school year.  I will also be able to demonstrate improvement if I progress them to a standing position later in the year, if they capable of doing so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making an effort to increase student learning by integrating  drama will help children gain meaningful context to their lives.