Read It. Move It. Share It. is a collaboration with Kerry from Picture Books and Pirouettes. Once a month Kerry recommends a book for me to use in my creative movement classes. Then I write a post on what I did with the book and how I used it with my students in hopes of giving you some new ideas to use in your classes! Here is the January book. Enjoy!
2 weekends ago in NYC we got snow for the first time this year! Well, we had some in October (yeah, I know) but I don’t really count that. I woke up on Saturday to teach and surprise, there was snow! I planned to use the book The Snowy Day anyway, but with snow coming down it seemed just perfect. And it was! Read on to see how I used it with my 4’s in creative movement!
We had a little story time first. I explained that we were going to read a little of the story, then dance a little of the story. This is a very popular book among the young ones. They said “I have that book at home” or “I have this book at school!” I love to see the difference between new books they haven’t heard of and books that are so much a part of their life. This one felt so connected to them it was just plain fun.
Concepts I extracted from the book to make our dance:
Footprints: Crunch, crunch, crunch! We came up with footprints to make in the snow! Toes pointing out, toes pointing in, walking on our heels, walking on our toes. Then we dragged the snow with our feet into one big pile.
Plopping: Snow fell on your head! PLOP! We fell to the floor when the snow fell. Lots of snow gets a big plop to the floor and a little snow gets a half way plop. They think it’s hilarious, so be prepared to spend lots of time on it! It also helps to say the word PLOP when the snow falls. *cue little giggles*
Snowball Fight (party): Roll up the snowball, pick it up and throw it against the mirror! Make an even bigger one! 1…2…3… throw! I didn’t have them throw the snow at each other, because that can get a little crazy. They get way too excited and then actually get to close to each other. This way they are throwing it at themselves in the mirror and that is just as fun!
Building a snowman: Ask them what their snowman (or snow-woman 😉 might look like. Are their arms bent or straight? Are they wearing a hat? Can you walk your snowman in that shape? What movements does your snowman do? Jump, leap, hop? There is just something about a snowman that is so fun to dance about!
Snow Angels: I am always careful with this one. Snow X’s? not as fun, but when they call them snow angels then I know it’s safe to call them that. I think it’s a pretty standard snow activity but I never want to say something out of place. After we made the snow angels, we got up very carefully and took pictures of them with our imaginary cameras to show their parents after class.
Mountain Climber: This mountain is so steep we have to help each other get to the top! It’s a good teamwork exercise! Make a line and have one student climb all the way to the other end of the room and then pretend there is a rope to pull the others up. One at a time they help each other to the top! After that, they wanted to roll down the hill. So we rolled and rolled. We explored different types of rolling, like log rolls, and egg rolls. Then, like in the book, we slid down the rest of the way.
Melting: We tried to find the perfect snowball for our pocket. Once they found it, I told them to freeze so I knew they found it. We put it in our pocket and began to melt. I tried to challenge them to melt even slower than they thought slow was. My exact words: “If you think you are melting slowly, go even slower than that!”
Dancing in the snow: We fell asleep after we melted and then woke up to play in the snow. Spinning with our tongues out was our favorite!
I highly recommend this book! I have always wanted to use it in class and I was so glad that Kerry recommended it. In December, The Jewish Museum in NYC had an exhibit including this book and it was amazing to see. It was all about the author Ezra Jack Keats, how he got the idea for the book and all of his notes and artwork leading up to all the awards it received. I felt lucky to visit the exhibit and feel even luckier that I got to dance to the book with my littles. To learn even more about The Snowy Day plop on over to Kerry’s blog!
Have you ever used this book in class? At first glance it doesn’t look like it would be a great book for movement or dance class, but it is! Try it, it’s so so fun!
Maria, this is a great idea. Thank you for the inspiration. I’m running a winter camp on the Friday of President’s weekend and I can’t wait to try this out with the littles! My daughter has the book and I’m excited to bring it into the dance room. Thanks again!
Liz! That’s so great you can use the ideas for your winter camp! It’s an awesome book and they had so much fun with it. let me know how it goes!
Thanks for the ideas, In the description of your examples it seems like they have snowballs, are these imaginary or do you use some sort of prop like crumpled up paper? I have just started to use books in my classes and stumbled upon picture books and pirouettes, I love that I have found a resource that is helpful. Thanks so much.
Tiffany, I do imaginary snowballs- sorry if that wasn’t clear! But it might also be fun to use something like cotton balls, or tissue paper. What do you think? Isn’t Picture books and Pirouettes great? I love Kerry, and all of her ideas. What books have you used in the classroom? 🙂
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