Curriculum - P.E. - Lesson plan - Moving on up

18th June 2010 at 01:00
Primary Dance and movement classes can help children to understand the relationship between body language and emotion, enhancing their confidence and self-knowledge

What the lesson is about

These are the third and fourth lessons in a medium-term, six-lesson dance and movement plan, linking in to the "ourselves and my body" theme. They are aimed at a mixed receptionYear 1 class.

Aims: pupils will:

- explore movement imaginatively to express emotion;

- recognise how our bodies communicate feeling to others.

Getting started

Warm up by playing bubbles: children move but pretend they are in a bubble, which restricts where they can go. Staying in the "bubble", ask them to try hopping, skipping, running and side-stepping, being careful to avoid bumping into each other.

Then demonstrate moving around showing different emotions. Encourage the children to think about how the position of their body might differ for different feelings. How would they move if they were tired? Or cross? Or happy? Or surprised?

Hold up emotion cards showing different feelings and ask the children to move around accordingly. How can their bodies demonstrate what they are feeling? Split the class into small groups. Give each group a card and ask them to perform that emotion while the other pupils have to guess what is on the card.

To cool down, ask the children to lie down and make a variety of faces, then pretend to fall asleep. They should awake as if after a deep sleep, stretch slowly, and smile when they are fully awake.

Taking it further

Start the next lesson by asking the children to mime walking in the park. Play music, and when it stops they should shake hands with whoever is nearest to them. Resume walking, using different types of movement such as giant steps, tiptoe, fairy steps and marching. Ask the children to suggest other types of walking.

Discuss how speed can be one way in which our bodies can express feelings. How quickly would you move if you were astonished? How slowly would you move if you were disappointed? Ask the pupils to demonstrate different emotions by changing the speed at which they move.

Split the group into pairs. One of each pair should express an emotion through moving; the other should copy the movement and guess the emotion. Use emotion cards as prompts.

Ask the pupils to combine the movements of two opposite emotions, swapping over when you say "Change". Ask each pair to choose their favourite combination and practise it before performing it to the rest of the class.

To cool down, ask the pupils to lie still on the floor. Ask them to identify some of the changes that happen to their bodies when they are active. Can they feel their heartbeat changing? What happens to their breathing?

Where to find it

The six-week scheme of work, originally uploaded by hattie, can be found at


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