Friday, October 5, 2012

Boogie in the Barnyard

We recently had a family move in across the street.  They have 6 kids, 5 of whom are girls and one of the girls I discovered had an imaginary ballet teacher.  Well I couldn't deprive her of the real deal so I invited them to join our dance class.  So today every child that could walk came for a lesson and even the only boy wanted to participate (in some of the activities).

I'm not sure how well this new arrangement will work because the neighbors also have a little baby and Coppelia was much more excited about playing with her then dancing.

Regardless, we did some very fun activities today and although I didn't take many pictures I do have pictures from when we originally started this themed week back in July.
art day
music day

The great thing about the arts is that they can tie into to just about every subject.  They are a great foundation to academics and when you teach them, in the process your educating the whole child.  Today we meshed up two of the arts, music and dance.
We took our 4 hula hoops and inside we placed 4 music symbols.
In the first hoop we placed this
This is the symbol for a quarter rest.  This rest receives 1count.
So when we marched to the rest symbol we froze on each beat (making it looks like we were doing the robot)

In the second hoop
This is a quarter note
It also receives 1 count.
When we marched to this note we did shoulder shrugs to the beat.

In the third hoop

 This is a half note
It receives 2 counts.
When we marched to this note we jumped out (feet apart and arms up) for 2 counts and then jumped back in (feet together, hands on hips) for 2 counts.

In the fourth hoop
This is a whole note
It receives 4 counts.
When we marched to this note we made a windmill with our bodies
standing with feet shoulder width apart, arms above head.  We make a giant circle with our bodies only bending from our hips.  When we reach the top we give a clap on the 4th count.

(knee's should not bend, I just wanted to give you a visual)

Since we are tying in Jazz music with our Barnyard boogie week we did this exercise to
"Straighten Up and Fly Right"
by Nat King Cole.

We then did a movement story about the farm waking up.
The sun came up and the rooster let out a big Cock-a-doodle-doo.
Then the dog woke up up with a shake, shake, shake.
Then the cat woke up with some lazy stretches.
She spotted a bird and decided she was hungry for some breakfast.
The cat got ready to pounce but the bird flew away just in the nick of time.

We introduced the barre today

We talked about holding the barre correctly and why we use the barre.
We worked on lifting our toes and elevé.

We then moved to center where we worked on our jumps.

There are 4 steps to a jump

1- plie (bend of the knee)
2 - jump
3 - land in plie
4 - stretch or straighten

We worked on two types of jumps making sure to clearly define each step during our exercise.

At this age I don't spend much time at the barre and I think it's important to break up the slow movement time so kids don't get bored.

So we did an activity learning about space.
Each child is given a hula hoop and when they stand inside of the hoop we call this their personal space.  All the space outside of the hoop is the general space.
We danced inside of their personal space and when I'd yell switch they would dance around the general space.

Once again incorporating jazz into this theme
We used the song
"Boogie In the Barnyard"
 by The Bellhops

Lastly we used our giant music staff

Then we did a portion of our movement story.
Each animal represents a note in the middle of the two staffs.  By dancing or moving along this giant diagram we are reiterating and hopefully sticking to memory what note belongs where.

D- The dog wags his tail and then chases after the cat
C- The cat leaps (we did a pas de chat) away from the dog
then the cat sees the bird and just as he jumps
B- The bird flaps his wings and flies away