Finding creative movement activities for my K-4 population is always fun and exciting!  It is especially fun during the holidays with the many musical choices available for adaptation, both instrumental and vocal.

This month I took an instrumental version of Sleigh Ride and adapted it for movement within our classroom. We first discussed the form (available below), or “road map”, that we would hear and the music would follow.  After listening and following the map I had each of the classes choose types of locomotive and non-locomotive movements to perform for each section of the music.  Not only were the students engaged in the discussion of what moves to do, the end results were nothing short of outstanding!  Perhaps my favorite was our “special” ending during the CODA section complete with what we called Rock-kicks, named after what the Rockettes do during their finales.

Using movement in the classroom not only reinforces what you might want to pinpoint musically, in this case form, but also gives your students the opportunity to be involved in the creation process.  For non-musical settings, it gets the whole group involved, you are up and moving, and you can adapt for the season or theme you are focusing on.
Lastly, remember to have fun and make sure you participate as well!  Moving and shaking along with the kids reminds them that it’s okay to be silly.

Sleigh Ride – music by Leroy Anderson

Form:  Introduction A B A C C’ interlude A B A CODA

Introduction – step beat
A – March
B – Gallop
A – March
C – Mimic snow falling from high to low
C’ – mimic snow blowing from side to side with arms
Interlude – skip
CODA – form a line for the Rock-Kicks! Until end

Have you used this in your classroom or therapy session?  What sort of movements have your students suggested?