A few months ago, I went into my daughter’s classroom to do an activity, I used to do with primary age students. Me being the oh so eager teacher without a class of my own, had a whole series of lessons I had hoped to present to the beautiful little cherubs….
The first lesson went ok. It was fun, I think. When I asked Leeloo about it she pretended she didn’t hear the question.
This should have been a sign.
The next lesson, was a fail, so much so that Leeloo said “ Mum, please don’t come into my class again.” I asked “Oh why?” knowing the answer “That was so boring nobody liked it!
There’s nothing like the sobering truth of a 5-year-old to totally smash you when you already think you suck.
Change of Heart
The last month or so I have had a new activity dancing around in my head. I blame it on the creative dance class I am taking from my friend Kate, creator of Little Rain Dance .
I kept trying to dismiss it with the following thoughts…
Leeloo doesn’t want me in her class, Even if I did go she could actively try to sabotage me to try to avoid more embarrassment….
My thoughts went in this direction for a while, then I couldn’t take it anymore. I woke up at 4 am and wrote the lesson plan, contacted the teacher who graciously allowed me to come in.
I didn’t tell Leeloo until the day before. I didn’t make small talk to prepare her I just said I was coming to class to do some dancing. And that was it.
This is what I have since discovered when it comes to working with 5 year olds…
The truth sometimes hurts but it shouldn’t stop you!
Here is my lesson plan complete with links to the music I used during the lesson.
The Musical Magic Carpet: Lesson Plan
Today’s Learning Intention: Create a joyful experience by using music, our imaginations and bodies to tell a story!
Lesson Space: We are going to be traveling through space visiting different worlds. Therefore, we are going to need a lot of room. Make sure the space is safe.
Mindful Warm Up: Hello Body background music, Oceanic Part 2: Anoushka and Ravi Shankar
Have you said hello to the different parts of your body today? Your poor neglected toes stuffed in those shoes are screaming for attention. Let them out and give them a little wiggle. As You listen to the music we will go through different parts of our bodies, waking them up with a stretch or a gentle swing. Rolling your ankles, knees, hips, back, shoulders, arms, wrist fingers, neck, now let’s move our whole body to the music letting your body move in whatever way feels right for you.
The Story Set Up: That song was from a country called India. Which is exactly where I got the thing in this bag (the item in the bag will be revealed at the end). You see it was like this… I was in a town called Pushkar. Every year they have a massive camel fair. I mean people come from everywhere with camels. It is incredible! All there is, as far as the eye can see, are Camels.
Have you ever seen a camel? Yeah well, they do this really awesome thing if they don’t like you.. They spit! And they have these crazy knees that allow them to kick you from any angle. And they Really, Really Smell! Anywho, I am walking around checking out the camels and this lady stops me.
“I have come so far, and am in need of a drink and provisions. Please can you stay here with my camel.” I can see the lady is very tired so I say yes.
However, I didn’t realise she was going to be gone for the whole day! I was starting to worry! I thought I was going to be stuck with this camel forever. Just before dark she came back. She was terribly apologetic! In return for taking care of her camels she gave me this Magic carpet!
Main lesson:We are going to be explorers of new worlds. Traveling through, time and space. How are we going to get there, you ask? Well, we will be traveling on this magic musical carpet, of course.
This is no ordinary Magic Carpet. It only takes us to musical lands. Each place has its own special music.
When we get on the carpet you will hear this music…Ray de lune.
When the music stops it is the cue to get off and explore the new land. Have No Fear! My Job as the conductor of this carpet is to let you know a little bit about each planet before we land. As soon as you set foot in the new land you will start to hear it’s unique sound. When you hear the carpet music again it is your cue to board the carpet so we can travel to the next world.
Teacher notes: Each time we get back on the carpet we do a quick share of what the kids experienced in the new land, what they saw, how the music of the land made them move, whether the music reminded them of something from their life, etc.
The music in each world may make you want to dance or move in a certain way. Maybe you will get pictures in your head about what you think that world looks like. Maybe you will pretend you are one of the people/creatures who live in this new land. The possibilities are endless. There is no wrong answers only exciting possibilities to let your imagination run wild.
We will travel to 4 to 5 different planets (songs will last for 2 to 3 minutes’ max).
The Final song is a familiar song. They will hear this song at the beginning of the journey and at the end. It will be the cue that we have returned home.
Reflection: Student share their favourite experiences during the travel.
If you would like my extended lesson plan, with the description of each planet and the playlist, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can find me on Facebook.
How Did This Magical Music Story End?
In the car ride home, Leeloo said, “That was the best day ever!”
Trying to seem cool and nonchalant I asked “Oh yeah why is that?” “The dancing! The magic carpet, which wasn’t real by the way MOM! I loved all of it!” She said with a laugh.
That moment is frozen for me.
It was a big wake up call to my creativity. I went in to the first lesson trying to teach something…I went in to the second open for anything…
Starting out with the mindful warm up helped to ground me, moving on to the story helped me escape and the musical carpet ride to fantastical lands, what a ride! What I received from every child was their own version of how the story played out. It was truly beautiful!
Something Every Adult Needs To Know
There were a few a constants observed on every planet …
They all had rainbows and unicorns!
With that I hope your day, week and month is filled with…
Magic, Rainbows and Unicorns.
P.S. Of course the stories haven’t stopped there. I have been dreaming in nothing but drama, music, movement and dance since this lesson. Check out ‘A Magic Carpet Follow Up’ for more lesson ideas.
P.S.S. If you would like new lessons plans as I create them. Drop me a line at Cathykoman@outlook .com or check me out on www.facebook.com/cathykoman81/.