Machines and devices and dance. Theme-based teaching and learning.

By: Elisabet Sjöstedt Edelholm
Position: Assistant professor in Children and Youth Dance, DOCH, Stockholm University of the Arts, Sweden

This lesson plan is planned for pre-primary school children, It is based on Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) and it starts in an idea and includes both props and music relating to the idea and theme.

You can download this lesson plan here


Theme: The body 

    • Walk one after the other in a line with swinging straight arms –like an old clock. Change levels and patterns. Continue into a circle following the phrase in the music and perform different “clock movements”.  Make some demi pliés and walk sideways like a slow clock. Improvise a “funny” clock and end by sitting down. Music.: The syncopated clock by Anderson
    • Sit in a circle with the legs crossed and say at the same time as you move the straight arms. – Forward and forward, up and up- sideways and sideways- 3 claps with the hands. Repeat with accelerando. Try the same movement phrase with the legs.
    • Sit in a circle and pretend that one is sitting in front of a computer writing very quickly. Perform on the floor and in the air in front – continue by pretending that you are playing a computer game. Stand up and “write” with the feet.  Ending by sitting down, standing up, on all four, lying down, on one leg etc. Music: The typewriter by Anderson
    • Stand up in a circle and run in a circle – stop as quickly as possible “ as if you were a robot”. Turn around very slowly keeping the same shape. Run in the other direction- stop-turn slowly- and so on.
    • Gallop feely in the room and when the music stops make a cell phone with your whole body. What does it look like? How do you dial your number? Answer the phone call. Gallop freely in room and next time you make a washing machine with your whole body. How does the laundry rotate in there? Gallop freely in the room and next time you make a motor saw with your body. How does it sound?
    • Stand in a circle and let the circuit flow in the arms by waving the arms in the same time as you are holding each other. Let one child perform a machine of some kind.  Continue by waving the arms again and letting another child come up with a machine idea.
    • Everybody is lying on the floor pretending to sleep. We say that we all live in the same big yellow house. The alarm clock goes on and you wake up. Then you have to go into the kitchen to make some toasts in the toaster.( You jump up from second position) The you go in the bathroom brushing the teeth with an electric tooth brush. The house must be cleaned. Everybody performs a vacuum cleaner. And outside the house you have to cut the grass so everybody drives a cutting machine. This whole story could be performed- like you where in a hurry/stressed for example
    • Sit all over the room and start to move like a robot with the same movement phrase as in the second exercise. Make a robot dance –jumping, rolling on the floor etc. Music: Art of Noice
    • Hold a partner 2 and 2 and skip freely in the room. Stop and connect your bottom with each other. Turn slowly together. Skip again and stop elbow connected with elbow and turn. Repeat the skipping and stop nose with nose and turn.
    • “The Dance of a Car” CD: Zoppa with Jojje Wadenius