Behavioral Objective: The student will work with classmates to create a dance using the action words found in the book I am not sleepy and I will not go to bed by Lauren Child.
Selections from “The Dance of the Hours” by Amilcare Ponchielli would make grand music to imagine to:
1. Read the text (this should be a review of the text, not a first reading). Have students help keep track of action words and make a list.
2. For each action word, allow the students to work together to create movements. Younger students may need to choose a few of their favorite words from the list to avoid being overwhelmed.
3. Play key sections of the music, encouraging students to fit their movements to it. It may help to decide what “mood” each section has with the students before they select movements. Encourage students to play with the idea of telling a story with the music and movement. A list of “key” elements in the piece are listed below.
4. If time and student interest permit, put it all together: play the ballet, allowing students to express themselves and helping them to remember what movements go where. If students are losing interest in one section, skip ahead. For the finale, let them cut loose and dance freely until the big finish.
Key time marks to remember:
1:36 – big “attention getting” dramatic chord progression
2:05 the “hello muddah” section begins – a great place for animal dances or action verbs
3:30 shift to the slower motive, perhaps “oh, but aren’t you sleepy, Lola?” pantomime with older children
4:09 back to main “hello muddah” theme
4:28 the bridge (Take me home) section
5:36 slower section, perhaps we’re winding down, getting tired, putting on pj’s
8:28 Beginning of Coda/Finale section – everybody MOVE!
Once the unit is complete, if time and student interest permits, it might be fun to watch the actual ballet:
Or the Disney “Fantasia” version with the dancing hippos: