Fourth grade students will begin dancing to a poem about a crocodile in the Nile River. Then they will “swim” and move about with the crocodiles as they float down the Nile River on a log. As they float they will learn about prepositions.
The student will identify and demonstrate movement elements (time, space, energy and motion) in performing dance.
The student will improvise, create, perform, and respond to movement solutions in the art form of dance.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
G. Form and use prepositional phrases.
Fourth grade students will understand prepositions within English grammar through dance improvisation and choreographic experiences.
Tell and dance “The Crocodile” poem with your students. After the first couple of verses have the students join you when you say “Well that’s no good!”
I stood on the banks of the River Nile, smiling at a Crocodile.
It said, “A person served on toast is the food I love the most!”
I said, “I will not be your dinner, I’m . . . I’m much too thin and I’m growing thinner!”
So I grew as thin as thin as I could ‘til the Crocodile said, “We’ll that’s no good –
“I’ll pour you from my gravy boat!” “Oh no, I’ll jump around in your throat!”
“So I jumped around as best as I could, ‘til the Crocodile said, “Well that’s no good –
“I’ll cook you up inside of my pot!” “Oh no – I’ll be a stringy knot!”
So I knotted up as best as I could, ‘til the Crocodile said, “Well that’s no good –
“I’ll bake you up inside of my pie!” “Oh no – I’ll wriggle around like a fly!”
So I wriggled and jiggled as best as I could, ‘til the Crocodile said, “Well that’s no good –
“I think I’ll put you in my stew!” “Oh no – I’ll kick inside of you!”
So I kicked and kicked the best that I could, ‘til the Crocodile said, “Well that’s no good –
“I’ll make you into my dessert!” “Oh no – I’m sharp and I would hurt!”
So I grew as sharp as sharp as I could, ‘til the Crocodile said, “Well that’s no good –
“I’ll swallow you up way deep inside!” Oh no – I’m really much too wide!”
So I grew as wide as wide as I could, ‘til the Crocodile said, “Well that’s no good –
“You’re much too clever for me today . . . so I think you’ll just have to go away!”
So I climbed right out of the River Nile and waved good-bye to the Crocodile.
(From Moira Morningstar’s book “Growing with Dance”)
Say and dance the poem one more time. As soon as you finish the poem, start playing Valley of Dreams by John Tesh. Immediately have the students follow you as you dive into the water and start to squiggle and swim towards the circle of chairs (or “floating logs”) that are set up. Then give directions on how the crocodiles swim with the logs.
Ask the students what they are dancing about. They are dancing about “prepositions”. Now ask the class for suggestions. Call on individuals to give a preposition and choose whether they dance or create a shape using that preposition. Write down about 6 suggestions and do a new dance using their ideas.
Next divide the students into small groups of 4 or 5. Using the chairs, have the students create a preposition dance. Have them list 10 prepositions on a piece of paper. Then next to the preposition write “shape” or “movement”. From this list they can create their small group dances. Have them also manipulate time, space and energy! When completed, have them perform for each other and discuss what prepositions were used.
The students could perform their dances at an informance for parents or for another class at school. Review the definition of preposition again. Have the students create a three dimensional visual art project using 6-8 prepositions. Or you could read a book. Every time you read a word that is a preposition, have the students respond with a shape that shows the meaning of that preposition.