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In this activity students will work in pairs while addressing the social dilemma of who gets to be the leader and who follows, a common strain in relationships.
At times kindergartners need assistance in making friends and learning how to get along. One strategy is to pair children up for activities. In this activity children work in pairs while addressing the social dilemma of who gets to be the leader and who follows, a common strain in relationships. Some children like to be the leader while others enjoy following. The children try both roles as they take turns being the leader; thus, learning respect for the other when they follow and building confidence when they lead. This activity can be repeated multiple times throughout the year allowing the children to change partners which gives opportunity to meet many more children as they explore new ideas.
This is a creative dance experience. Don't be afraid to move with the students. Children are born to move and are full of energy. Dance is a wonderful art form that involves cooperation and social interaction along with creativity and coordination. In preparation, it would be helpful, but not necessary, to do some of the following movement activities with the class:
If you are not experienced directing creative movement, remember that simple stationary movements work well as do large muscle movements. Move the way you are comfortable, then enjoy watching the children who are generally uninhibited and comfortable moving. Allow the shy or hesitant child to watch if she chooses. Don't force. Children need time to feel comfortable and watching is a form of participation. They will join in when ready. These children often make good stage hands by helping with props or music. There are many ways to participate.
Be enthusiastic and ENJOY!
2. Develop social skills and ethical responsibility.
3. Demonstrate responsible emotional and cognitive behaviors.
Invitation to Learn
Follow the Leader
As you enter the gym have the children line up behind you. Instruct the children to follow you and do as you are doing. Proceed to do various large motor activities such as skipping, hopping, galloping, crawling, marching, etc. as you lead them along various pathways. If no gym is available, use the hallway or go outside then come back to a room with open space. Furniture may need to be cleared to create as much open space as possible. Comment on the fact that you are the leader and they are following. If time permits a few children could have a turn to be the leader.
Have each pair of children first decide who will begin as the leader. Let them demonstrate for a short time. Stop and change leaders so the other partner gets to lead. Give them a few moments to demonstrate to the class. Make any necessary corrections so children clearly understand the activity. Complement, encourage and admire the movement done by the children. Give suggestions if needed.
Curriculum Extensions/Adaptations/ Integration
Bredekamp, S. & Copple, C. (eds). (1997) Developmentally Appropriate Practices in Early Childhood Programs (rev. ed.). Washington DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children, pg.132.
Children should have daily opportunities for aesthetic expression through art, music, and dance. The arts can be the explicit focus of the activity or integrated into other areas of the curriculum. Children should be encouraged to express themselves physically, represent ideas and feelings and acquire fundamental concepts through moving freely and use large muscles in planned movement activities. The arts should be offered more often then a once a week diversion.
Gilbert, A.G. Creative Dance for All Ages: A conceptual approach (7th ed.). Reston, VA: American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, pg.7.
Social outcomes from creative dance include the following: 1.) Learning to cooperate with others through partner and group work. 2.) Bonding with one another through positive physical contact and sharing of ideas and space. 3.) Increasing leadership skills through partner and group work. 4.) Discovering the value of individual differences through creative exploration.