Since I was in high school I have always had the interest in teaching. I was luckily enough that I had the opportunity to started teaching dance at my home dance studio. A few months ago I started teaching at a local dance studio. This past weekend my Pedagogy class came to teach my pre-ballet class which are ages 3-6. This lab class was extremely interesting to figure out the benefits of teaching a creative moment class. Although I teach pre-ballet/tap weekly creative movement is more about exploration and learning then technique.
During this class my fellow classmates and I taught four little children between the ages 3-6. This is typically a large age difference for this type of class however since there is not many children in the class it makes it possible.
Teaching children is extremely different from teaching anyone over the age of 10. The younger you are the less you have experienced. They only have three to six years of experience. This makes it challenging to have the class relate to your lesson plan. Knowing this you must base your lesson plan on material that they know like animals, colors or shapes. These are three basic tools that can help shape you lesson plan. You also must consider there attention span. The rule of thumb is that they can pay attention for as long as there age. Meaning a three year old can typically concentrate on something for around three minutes.
This makes developing a lesson rather difficult since three minutes is approximately one song. Changing the material for each song is helpful but still difficult to work on the same things but change it enough to keep them engaged.
Below is the lesson plan my partner and I created for the class. Our these was focusing on sharp and smooth movement.
Lesson Plan Form :
Age or Grade: 3-6 Length of Lesson: 30-45 minutes
Lesson Concept: Force: Energy, Weight and flow
Warm up- 5-10 minutes
Warm up activity: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Dance exercise: Sitting on the floor; Pike legs and shake your legs to “pop popcorn”
Butterfly stretch: fly somewhere
Legs out in a split and crawl down one leg
Exploring the Concept- 5-10 minutes
Exploring the Concept: Clap hands and wave – Explain high medium and low concepts
Shaping: wiggle down to the floor and jump make a pose
Be smooth when going down and sharply make the pose
Then give shapes / directions of the pose
Developing Skills- 10- 15 minutes
Developing Skills: Have them dance to a slow song then do faster song
Introducing the concept: Sharp and smooth
Combining Movements: Smooth and sharp movement Mirror activity
Pair up big girl with child and mirror exercise
Across the floor:
Smooth movement: tip toe across the floor
Transferring weight: hop on one foot, switch; skipping
Keeping flow: Chases to the front and side “Gallop like a horse”
Leaping: Jump over the “puddle” use sticky flowers for them to jump over
Free Dancing/Improvising: Freeze Dance
Cool Down- 5 minutes
Good-Bye Dance: Shake Your Sillies Out
Line up for stickers or stamps
Relaxing/ Alignment: NA
Stretching/Reviewing Concept: NA
Sharing/Evaluating Choreography: NA
Overall this was a really interesting experience to watch my fellow classmates teach and give me new ideas on how to format my class.