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Elements of Movement in Early Childhood: Force

written by: Willa • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 2/14/2012

This lesson on force is part of a series in the Elements of Movement in Early Childhood unit. A progression of movement elements are implemented in each lesson, with activities that are based on themes, easily adapted to children in Pre-K through 3rd grade.

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    Circle Time

    Introduce to the children the various muscles in their bodies. Show how muscles are used when stamping their feet, moving their arms or clapping their hands. The object of this lesson is to show how the movement of force is about light and heavy. Read the story based on a childhood song, The Ants Go Marching by Mary Gruetzke, editor. This story prepares the children for the movement activity using the element of force.

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    Elements of movement in early childhood using force, includes music, such as the song, "The Ants Go Marching". This allows the children to march around the classroom, as they listen and follows the directions in the song. Other songs are " Hinges", which allows a robotic movement, and "Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands" by the Cedarmont Kids. This song teaches them to clap their hands and stamp their feet loud and soft.

    Conclude by introducing this transition activity as you instruct them to "reach high with your hands and float down as light as a feather, now lift your hands high up to the sky and come down like a brick!" This activity of stretching, relaxing and force is guaranteed to be a favorite.

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    Using large hoops, call up 5 or 6 children and give one to each child, as they lie in the center of the hoop, curled up as small as they can get. Explain that they are a kernel of popcorn waiting to pop. As you "pour" oil over the "kernel", a child pops up. The class will add as each child pops up. This math activity may be adjusted for older children. Use the concept of "sticky popcorn" to add greater numbers, by pretending to pour caramel over the popcorn. As the children "stick" together, have the class add the groups.

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    Suggested reading:

    Silly Sally by Audrey Wood

    Do Goldfish Gallop? by Michael Dahl

    Ants Go Marching by Mary Gruetzke (editor)