Thursday, January 7, 2010

Create a Dance with Symbols!

On Monday in my creative movement classes I introduced Motif symbols to my 4 and 5 year olds. I know what your thinking, isn't it a little advanced to ask them to remember all the symbols and the movements? It is actually so easy, and they love it! They can create their own dance using THEIR movement based on the symbols. Here is an example:

This symbol is shape (they think it looks like an apple, which it does!) Make a frozen shape!
This symbol is balance... we try to balance on many body parts (it's a very silly)
Then we try to put some of them together- Wiggle and Travel at the same time! So fun!
Connect and Turn (woah tricky) They love to come up with different ways to move and connect!
We then put them all together and we have created a dance!

With my 5 year olds I introduced the symbols of levels (high, medium, low) We add those to the symbols above. Make a low shape- Travel in the middle- Wiggle up high!

Have you tried using symbols with your students. I find that no matter how many times I use them, the kids never get bored, because we can always make a different dance. There are a bunch of other symbols you can find here if your students are older or really picking it up! As you can see I just hand drew them on paper... easy easy! We can never have enough ways to explore movement. Try it out!


  1. My 6th graders are working on completing their Motif Score Dances as well!

  2. I bet they loved it! My 3rd-5th graders are working on direction symbols this week, expanding from the basic 6 directions to 3-rings from the icosohedron. It's the first time we've gone this far. They've already got individual sets of about 6-8 symbols. I really like for them to have their own individual sets -- I only wish the logistics of having envelopes for 6 classes of 25 kids each were more manageable! Meg,

  3. Yeah! I forgot about using symbols. I did it along time ago when I was teaching 4th and 5th graders. They loved it and it helped them be very specific with their movements and it was great fun for them to create, and explore. I gave them each a bunch of cards and they had to create a dance from the symbols. It was wonderful because the other groups watching would let them know if they were being true to the symbols.
    Thanks for the reminder and the inspiration to do it again. It's never to early andI bet your students will ask to do it again!

  4. Thank you all for your comments! @Meg- That is a lot of envelopes!!! I am sure they like to have their own sets, so they can create the dances as they want! It must be a good time to do symbols! @Stacey- let me know if you try it out... I would love to hear how your students liked it!

  5. I love this idea! :) Gonna try it this week with the kids. Seems like a great "welcome back" fun exercise! :)

  6. Yes Lori! Try it out! They will love it.. and it's not a lot of work for you!