How To Be A . . .

When was the last time you used the words brave, curious, and patient with your 3, 4 and 5 year old students? Well, on Monday I used the first book in the collaboration Read It. Move It. Share It and those words are in the book. What a great lesson! I can’t wait to tell you about using it with the kids, but first you should go and read the overview of the book from Kerry here!

Here’s is my play by play of the lesson with my creative dance students. The book worked best with my 5 year olds, the 4’s loved it too and was actually a great book to teach, learn, and explore new words. I tried it with 3 year olds, but they were a little two young for this one!

In my big announcer voice I would stay “How to Be A…” and name the animal on the page. After that each animal had 5 things to do to become that animal. All the animals are great and totally relatable to this age group. Some of my favorite moments that stand out while reading and moving the book with the kids are below.

Monkey: Copy Someone- Oliver says “but that’s not very nice.” (haha!) I then translated it into follow the leader. (I have to be honest, I didn’t see that coming) Each student did a movement and we “copied” them.

Spider: Build a Web- We connected body parts, fingers, toes, arms, and legs. It was fun to see how tangled up we could get!

Bear: Hibernate- I loved that they knew what this word meant! This lasted a while, because they said “bears hibernate all winter, and winter is loooong Miss Maria” (so true, right?)

Snake: Dance in a Basket- I told them to think that they were in a small space, and could slither and dance up and down but not side to side. It was a good challenge!

My very favorite part of using the book was exploring the non-movement words. When making a brave shape we looked strong. When making a charming shape we looked proud. We shook hands to be friendly, and looked around the room to be curious. The most amazing part of the book is how much it lends itself to using their imagination in such a short amount of time. This book encouraged us to move in many different ways and became a really great lesson for new words, new shapes, and new movements!

Do you use books in your creative dance classes? What is your favorite part about it? Try this one! You will love it!

Kerry will be recommending a book for me to use with the littles every month.  Want to join in? Keep checking back for next months book! 🙂 You can also learn more about our collaboration here and here!


  1. Hi, Maria. This is so great! I love hearing all the little stories from class. And you found such creative ways to use the book. I especially like how you “built a web” with different body parts. I never would have thought of that!

    1. Author

      Thanks! I love to see how creative the kids can get. I also like to challenge myself to see what will work and not work. I look forward to using more of your recommendations, and I hope that other readers will use the books too! 🙂

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