Objective: Children will walk along a floor-level balance beam to explore the science of balance.
Note: This activity requires advanced preparation. Prior to the lesson, tape one 5’–6’ line on the floor for each child. Lines can be straight, wavy, zigzag, or any combination of the three.
Movement promotes physical fitness and development of the whole child. Movement contributes to the enhancement of a positive self-image, self-confidence, creativity, and self-expression. Movement activates the neural wiring in the body, making the whole body an instrument of learning.
The first science discovery that children go through is discovering how their own bodies move and work. As they become aware of the world around them, children are anxious to understand how things move and work. Many science concepts, such as balance, can be explored through movement. Both science and movement include learning by doing.
In this activity, children are challenged to maintain their balance as they move according to the movement cues. If they move too quickly, they may step off the floor-level balance beam. Balance has to do with the distribution of mass. The weight of the object—in this case, the body—needs to be equally placed for the body to remain stable. In our activity, we concentrated on controlling our movements to maintain our balance. The children had to be aware of their body parts and how to move them in order to maintain their balance.
Some children may have difficulty with this activity; if so, use extra tape to make a wider line for them to use.
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.
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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.