A while back I observed my friend Erica teach and she had a man or lady like the picture above! These little guys are awesome and the kids love it. We named ours Mr. Flexie and she helps us learn about shapes and our body parts. Here is how I use the statue:
Mr. Flexie’s arms and legs bend and straighten and his head even turns. He is fun to play around with. It’s almost like a real person! In first few lessons I would make the shape, they would examine the statue and then go and make that same shape in the room, however they saw the shape. The interesting part is that some littles saw the shape sitting rather than standing or the other way around. I almost think I need to draw a face on him so we can tell better which is front and which is back.
After a few lessons like that, I gave each student a turn to turn Mr. Flexie into a shape. Now, my classes are big, so I told one dancer to do the arms and the upper body and another dancer to do the legs and other half of the body. Needless to say, they are better at making the shapes than I am. Naturally! 😉
Mr. Flexie teaches them a few things. Shapes are frozen, like a statue (ha!) and how to visually see something and put it into their body. Molding the statue with a partner take teamwork as well. They are so good at it. Even though now we are creating shapes on our own, they still ask to do Mr. Flexie and I usually give in. A lot of them said they have the same statues in their classroom at school, so I can just picture them teaching their other classmates about shapes at choice time.
If you are looking for a good entry point to teach shapes, any kid of body shapes, this is it!
Do you have special statue friends in your dance room? Have you ever used a statue to teach shapes? I would love to hear!
p.s. you can get your very own Mr. Flexie here!