Instant Activities - Moving Through The Door
They just take an instant to get started! It's best when these instant activities are connected to the learning targets for the lesson and serve activate prior knowledge/skills in some way. This gets the neural networks that are already in place up and running so that new learning can create more dendritic branching with more myelin. Here you will find some examples that I have found successful over the years.
Locomotor Explore With Grades 1 & 2
This works great when I have equipment that has to be set up ahead of time for the main part of the lesson. Students begin in open space. The music comes on they move around responding to locomotor and movement concept challenges. When the music stops, students freeze and listen for the next challenge.
Ball & Dribble Wraps
A variety of balls our out for student to take to a self space. They establish an athletic ready position and when the music starts they attempt to dribble or wrap the ball around different body parts. They are encouraged to try something they see someone else doing that looks challenging.
Locomotor-Non Locomotor Patterns
When we do this one students know that they will be choosing movements within the following pattern: When the music starts they will perform a locomotor movement - freeze when it stops - when it starts again they will perform a non locomotor movement - freeze when it stops and keep repeating the pattern. To teach it I usually give them a locomotor movement and a non locomotor movement and move with them. The variations for this is limitless.
This is one of my favorites. I get so many ideas from the kids. They know that when I say "body brainstorm" their job is to come up with as many things as they can to control their equipment in their own self-space. Each child has their own piece of equipment. For example they might all have a tennis racket, ball, lacrosse stick, hula hoop, tennis ball, etc. Lots of times I will do this at the beginning of the unit before doing any introduction or with younger students, the first time they have seen a piece of equipment during the year. The only requirement is that they move with balance and control within their own self-space.
This is a simple instant activity I use with Kindergarten students as they practice locomotor movements and letter recognition.
Hey! Can you teach me that move?
Choose a piece of music and just move. Stop the music and teach kids how to learn from each other. Model walking over to someone and saying "Hey, Can you teach me how to do that?" I had a student who had clearly had some hip hop experience who ended up teaching a lot of kids some really cool moves. This little splash of social intelligence is great too!
March The Line
Put on a lively Sousa March and set them marching on the lines on the floor. Everyone is challenged to travel the lines. If they come face to face with someone, both must turn and go another direction. No person may pass by another. Throw in a tagger or two. If tagged - the student must make a bridge over the line he/she was tagged on. To be free another students must travel at a low level underneath the frozen student. Taggers may not go past a person he/she tagged. The march music really makes this one.
Half the class starts by making a balanced shape in an open space. Slow music starts playing. The other half of the class moves and chooses a shape to mirror. Once the the first person sees that they have a mirror (a students has successfully matched his/her shape) he/she is released to move and mirror another shape.