Theme: All About Me

Bones and Muscles


Objective: Children will explore how bones and muscles give their bodies shape and help them move.

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What You Will Need

  • Audio device – for playing music
  • Music – any movement music (see Lesson Tips for suggestions)
  • Large space – enough for children to move safely without touching each other

What To Do

  1. Review the important rules of dance lessons (see Lesson Tips).
  2. Review and perform these warm-up steps:
    1. Breathing – Take several deep breaths in and out slowly.
    2. Touch – Using gentle energy, tap/tickle your skin all over the body (arms, shoulders, belly, legs, etc.). Then, using stronger energy, squeeze all over your body to wake up your skin and senses.
    3. Get Moving – Do several movements that will get the blood flowing. Some examples might be jumping, running in place with high knees, swinging arms or kicking legs, and jumping with legs crossed and then open.
  3. Ask, “What do you know about your bones and muscles?” (see Did You Know?).
  4. Have the children feel some bones in their bodies (wrists, legs, elbows, knees) and describe how they feel (see Guiding Student Inquiry).
  5. Have the children feel their arms as they flex and relax the muscle, and describe the difference (see Guiding Student Inquiry).
  6. Tell the children that they will be using their bones and muscles to explore strong and light movements.
  7. Demonstrate and have the children repeat strong movements: flick, kick, punch, slash, and dodge.
  8. Demonstrate and have the children repeat light movements: float, glide, stretch, sway, melt, and twist.
  9. Ask the children to describe how their arms and legs feel as they perform these movements.
  10. Put on a music selection (see Lesson Tips).
  11. Instruct the children to dance with strong energy in their muscles and bones when they hear strong energy in the music, and dance with light energy when they hear music with light energy.
  12. Wrap up the session with some cool-down movements. This can be any kind of slow, calming movement (see Lesson Tips).

Guiding Student Inquiry

  • Tell me the job you think your bones and muscles do.
  • Explain where your bones/muscles are located.
  • Describe how your bones feel.
  • Explain the difference in feeling between a flexed muscle and a relaxed muscle.
  • Tell me the difference between dancing with a strong motion and dancing with a light motion.
  • Explain what your bones and muscles do when you kick (slash, dodge, float, sway, twist).

Explore, Extend and Integrate

  • Perform the activity, From Your Head Down to Your Toes, by explaining to the children that a spark of energy is going to start in their heads and travel down through their bodies. Start by shaking your head, then shake your shoulders, then move your arms, hands, torso, hips, legs, feet, and toes. You can start by going head down to toes and then reversing back up to the head.
  • In the children’s self-space, have them perform the activity, Moving Bones. To do this they will lift their toes up and down, kick their legs right then left, march their thighs right and left, wiggle their knees, bend forward and back, lift their neck up and down, turn their head side to side. Play a music selection (see Lesson Tips,) and have them follow the sequence.

Check for Children’s Understanding

  • Could children explain that their bones give their bodies shape and keep it strong?
  • Could children explain that their muscles help their bodies to move?
  • Could children describe how their bones and muscles feel?
  • Could children explain the different feeling of a flexed muscle compared with a relaxed muscle?
  • Could children explain the difference between a strong dancing motion and a light dancing motion?

Did You Know?

Bones are the hard framework inside the body called the skeleton. They give the body shape and help keep it strong. Bones also protect some of the softer parts of the body. The skull is made up of the hard bones in the head that work together to protect the brain. The ribs are bones that make a cage around the heart, lungs, and liver to protect them.  The bones in the spine protect the nerves and spinal cord and help the body to stand erect.

Learn More »


Vocabulary

  • bones
  • muscles
  • flex
  • relax
  • strong
  • light

Child-Friendly Definitions »


Content provided by:

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Visit the Carolina Ballet website


Common Core State
Standards Initiative

These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge.**

Learn More »

Did You Know?

Bones are the hard framework inside the body called the skeleton. They give the body shape and help keep it strong. Bones also protect some of the softer parts of the body. The skull is made up of the hard bones in the head that work together to protect the brain. The ribs are bones that make a cage around the heart, lungs, and liver to protect them.  The bones in the spine protect the nerves and spinal cord and help the body to stand erect.

Bones work with the muscles to help the body with movement such as standing, sitting, walking, and even eating. Muscles are the soft tissue inside the body that provides force and motion. Muscles work like rubber bands to pull on the bones and make them move. Muscles are responsible for all physical movement in the body. 

Vocabulary

  • bones – the hard parts inside a person or an animal.
  • muscles – the soft pieces of flesh inside a person or an animal that make the bones move.
  • flex – to bend.
  • relax – to become calm or less tense.
  • strong – having power, great force, or energy.
  • light – not heavy or full.

Lesson Tips

- Important rules of dance lessons:

  1. Listen to the teacher; wait to move, and stop movement when the teacher tells you.
  2. Keep your body safe while moving.
  3. Stay in your own self-space.

- Discuss the importance of performing the dance activities safely. Be certain that the children have enough space around them to kick, punch, and perform other movements safely, without invading another child’s self space.

- Be sure to go over the routine with assistant teachers so that they are familiar with the steps before beginning the activity.

- Musical selections can be found online. Search for Introduction and Royale March of the Lion by Camille Saint-Saëns (Warm-Up), Moon River by John Altman (Cool-Down), and Dry Bones by Wee Sing (Explore, Extend, and Integrate). Also, search for a piece of music that has several different types of energy and that can show the difference between light and strong, or use two different pieces of music, one for the strong movement sequence and one for the light movement sequence (see Step 6 in What To Do).

 

Books

- Bones by Stephen Krensky

- Bend and Stretch: Learning About Your Bones and Muscles by Pamela Hill Nettleton

- Dancing in My Bones by Sylvia Andrews

- Me and My Amazing Body by Joan Sweeney

Important Legal Disclosures and Information

*While we believe that the books and resources recommended may be of value to you, keep in mind that these are suggestions only and you must do your own due diligence to determine whether the materials are appropriate and suitable for your use. PNC has no sponsorship or endorsement agreement with the authors or publishers of the materials listed. 

**There are currently no Common Core Standards for pre-k, but these lessons are aligned as closely as possible to capture the requirements and meet the goals of Common Core Standards. However, these lessons were neither reviewed or approved by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices or the Council of Chief State School Officers, which together are the owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.