Creative Movement Activities

Build & Break Sculptures

This exercise focuses on improvisation to demonstrate understanding of abstract ideas.  By assigning movement to a specific term, students collaborate to communicate their ideas to the class.  Conversely, students in the audience use evidence from their classmates’ performance to analyze and learn abstract ideas.

Process

  1. Assign student groups a specific term related to your content (e.g., ambition, variability, freedom).  Explain that their task is to is to show what the term looks like through movement.
  2. Students discuss how to express their abstract term.The must use specific details of their movement as evidence for discussion and analysis.
  3. Students “build” and then perform their abstract terms.
  4. As a closure discussion, class members “break” the performance down using specific details to analyze the abstract idea.

(adapted from Alison Marshall)

Walk This Way

Similar to the previous exercise, this simple exercise focuses on improvisation to demonstrate understanding of a character, person, concept.  Whatever content you might be covering in class (historical person, literary character, prime numbers, amoebas, planetary gravitation, etc.), students can demonstrate their understanding of the concept by “getting into the skin” of that concept and presenting how he/she/it might move in a specific context.  By assigning movement to a specific term, students collaborate to communicate their ideas to the class.  Conversely, students in the audience use evidence from their classmates’ performance to analyze and learn abstract ideas.

Process

  1. Assign student groups a specific term related to your content (e.g., Ben Franklin, King Lear, the Pythagorean theorem, gravitational pull, ).  Explain that their task is to is to show what the term looks like through movement.
  2. Students collaborate to express their abstract term using specific details of their movement as evidence for discussion and analysis.
  3. Students “build” and then perform their content terms.
  4. As a closure discussion, class members “break” the performance down using specific details to analyze the abstract idea.

(adapted from Susan Fisher)