By Karla Banks
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Are you tired of teaching the water cycle only to have students confuse the vocabulary? Try teaching the water cycle in a different way. Teach students to understand the water cycle by using their bodies. Use dance/creative movements to learn the vocabulary. For a successful lesson, these skills must be taught in the below order:
1. Teach a “stop/freeze” signal. It can be any kind of symbol. A sound works best because during movement exercises students are not always looking at their leader.
2. Practice this signal many times even when not doing movement exercises so students begin to respond to it automatically.
3. Set clear behavior expectations. Remind students what you expect their behaviors to look like and to sound like. Since this is an arts integrated lesson, students will be expected to learn key movements to vocabulary as well as the concepts/vocabulary of the water cycle.
4. Review the stop signal.
5. Describe each step of the water cycle verbally.
6. Together as a class, decide on a movement to match each water cycle step.
7. The entire class acts out the movement as several students explain what the movement means.
8. Repeat the process for each step of the water cycle.
9. While doing the movements, call out the steps of the water cycle to reinforce key vocabulary.
At the end, all students participate in the Water Cycle Dance together. Everyone, including the teacher, moves to all steps of the water cycle. Click here for a free detailed lesson plan of the Water Cycle Dance.
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