Name of Activity:
Purpose of Activity:
To allow children to move freely and creatively, and to interpret the story (below) using movement and dance.
Suggested Grade Level:
Any techno music with a good steady, funky, robotic beat will do!
Suggested: The following songs by Daft Punk are good:
Around the World, Robot Rock, Harder-Better-Faster-Stronger, Work It Harder, Robot Musique, Rollin’ & Scratchin’
Beginning dance formation:
Children are standing and scattered about with 2-3 feet between them.
Description of Idea
Children will interpret the following story using the aid of Techno music, and their imaginations!….
One day a scientist was setting up his new laboratory. There was a great deal of work to do, so he built a robot to help him. Let’s see if we can pretend like we are building a robot. First we must assemble our tools and our materials….pieces of metal, screws and bolts, hinges, wire cutters, computer circuit boards, and whatever else we need. Okay, let’s start using our tools and putting the robot together!
(TEACHER: Pantomime the motions of building the robot along with the children).
Good job!…. now we have our robot! Let’s call him Roger Robot! Can you pretend like YOU are the robot? Let’s show how Roger Robot might help the scientist. Walk forward like a robot might. Now, lift boxes like a robot, very stiff, and put them on the shelf. (TEACHER: Children will pantomime and move stiffly like a robot. Teacher may join them and then compliment them on their efforts.)
The robot worked hard with the scientist all day. At night, he powered down and went to sleep. Let’s be Roger when he is powering down and going to sleep for the night. How do you think he would do that?
The next day the scientist brought something with him in his pocket. He pulled out a shiny silver object. Roger didn’t know what it was, so the scientist said “This is my music. Roger Robert made a funny face and wondered ‘What is music?’. Show me how Roger would react to hearing music for the first time!
(TEACHER: Play the music for 30 seconds).
Yes! When Roger Robot heard the music, it was hard for him to stand still! He began to move to the beat. He walked across the laboratory to the beat of the music as he worked. Let’s listen to the music and walk across the floor – from this end of the room to that end. Let’s move to the beat — stiffly — like Roger the Robot would. Let’s move on a low level. Let’s try to do a robot jump!
(TEACHER: Point the direction the children should walk to help them minimize bumping into each other. Play the music for one minute and allow children to move across the floor.) Sometimes when Roger moved to the music, he also liked to walk slower, but added an extra bounce. Sometimes he moved faster – in double time to the music. Sometimes he liked to turn. Can you turn like a robot? (TEACHER can demonstrate but be sure to allow students to interpret). Sometimes, Roger would move a few steps forward, then a few steps backwards. Sometimes he would slide one leg forward and back, and forward and back — or sometimes, he would just move his arms and head! Let’s see if we can move in different directions, and at different speeds, and in different ways – like a robot who is enjoying moving to the music – and learning to dance….but he is still kind of stiff! Can you create a robot dance?
(TEACHER: Put music on and robot dance with the children for a minute or two)
The next day, Roger woke up to the sound of the music. The scientist was already at work and Roger joined him! Roger started the day moving boxes across the floor — kind of stiff, but as the day went on, he began to loosen up. Sometimes his arms loosened up like this. (TEACHER: Make a wave motion with one arm, then the other). Try it children! Sometimes Roger’s legs became looser! She me how you think Rogers legs began to loosen up and get wiggly the more he danced!
Let’s see if we can move like Roger Robot on his second day of working and dancing….. mostly stiff like a robot, but sometimes a little more loose….almost like a human!
(TEACHER: Put music on for one or two minutes and dance with children – going from “stiff” moves to more “loose” moves. Try loosening one arm at a time (by shaking it or moving it in a wave motion to the beat of the music. Then loosen one leg at a time by wiggling it or swaying it in time with music. Then loosen the neck and shoulders with rolling motions. Have fun with the children!)
Roger Robot loved to dance! On the third day of his job, he told the scientist “Thank you for bringing music into my life and encouraging me to dance! But I must leave now and go out into the world to teach all the other robots how to dance! Yes! I will become a dance teacher!” And guess what? He did!! THE END.
(TEACHER: Let’s walk down the street like Roger Robot on his way to his new job, walking and dancing along the way! Play music for a minute or two!)
Children can name the robot! Also, after the story, children can experiment with moving like other ‘things’ like….
A Rocking Chair
A Washing Machine
An Old Car, bumping along a bumpy road
A Doll or Mannequin who has just come to life
A Creepy, Crawly Bug
A Sneaky Cat
Can the children come up with more ideas for moving things to imitate?
Assesment could include an exit slip using a smiley face and a sad face. Children could circle the one that fits how they felt about the lesson. Children could also draw a picture of their dancing robot, and place it on a bulletin board, etc.
All children who participate get an “A”! All that’s required is a positive attitude, a smile, and a little effort! Have fun!
Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:
Any child who can move any part of his body can do this activity!