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Kinesthetic Lessons for Toddlers and Preschoolers by Susan Kramer


1. ABA Sequencing Lesson
2. Benefits of Young Kids Learning Motor Skills
3. Circle Dance Using Rhythmic Motor Skills and Songs
4. Curving and Zigzag Shapes Lesson
5. Diagonal Line Shape Lesson
6. Climbing Stairs Lesson
7. Clockwise and Counterclockwise Lesson
8. Developing Concentration
9. Learning Right and Left Side
10. Outlining Shapes
11. Straight Lines Game
12. Making Horizontal Lines Lesson
13. Stretching in Vertical Lines Lesson
14. Moving Forward and Backward for Young Kids
15. Three Beginning Rhythmic Motor Skills
16. Three More Advanced Rhythmic Motor Skills
17. Moving in Directions Lesson
18. Straight Line Kinesthetic Lessons
19. Circles and Circling Lines Lesson
20. Curved and Bending Lines Lesson
21. Developing Language Skills Birth to 5

18. Straight Line Kinesthetic Lessons

Here are 2 kinesthetic lessons to prepare for learning basic alphabet shapes, and then alphabet letters.

Age: 4+ Preschool and Kindergarten and older learning disabled students.

For: Teachers for the benefit of students.

Skills learned: Straight lines, slanted lines, horizontal lines, vertical lines.

Introduction: Alphabet letters are made up of sticks, curves and circles, formed by moving in directions. By practicing the stick and circle shapes kinesthetically, with their full body, kids experience an alphabet letter shape more than by seeing the written shape and tracing with their pencils or hands.

And, moving from one shape to the next gives students an idea of the flow of letters that make up words, sentences: the flow of language.

I've had a lot of fun inventing these shapes with pre-K and primary students and those with learning and physical disabilities, both in the regular classroom and special education as a dance specialist since 1965.

Suggestion: To begin, clear enough floor space, perhaps by pushing desks or tables to the sides of the room and using the center reading carpet.

Lesson 1. Standing in Straight Lines

Preparation: Standing in the center of room facing the front, designate your classroom into front wall, back wall, side walls, right front corner, left front corner, right back corner, left back corner. Labels on the wall help out.

Since I have a background in the theater I use the stage terminology which is the corners begin with number 1. at right front corner, 2. At left front corner, 3. At left back corner, 4. At right back corner. The moving to the walls: 5. Front wall or audience, if a stage, 6. Left side wall, 7. Back wall, 8. Right side wall.

Several students take hands, facing in the same direction and stretch their arms out to the side making the shape line up with one of the walls of the classroom. Using 5 to 10 students at a time so they can really stretch out.

Lesson 2. Lying Down Straight Line:

Each student fully stretches arms over their heads and keeps their legs straight and touching. For a vertical shape have kids heads closest to front wall and feet closest to back wall. For horizontal line they could stretch head and feet to side walls. For diagonal shapes, have student line head to one front corner and feet to opposite front corner.

Article by Susan Kramer

Resources for parents, teachers and homeschooling families:

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Rhythms and Dances for School Age Kids

Rhythms and Dances for School Age Kids

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Rhythms and Dances for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Rhythms and Dances for Toddlers and Preschoolers

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All articles copyright 2000-2011 Susan Kramer