The Story / Discussion
A Tree Grows
(Narrative Pantomime)
I use this lesson with my Kindergarten and Jr. Kindergarten classes, often as the first lesson in which we use our whole bodies to create drama.  (I usually start out using hands and face alone.)  It is a narrative pantomime--a story which is told by the leader and enacted by the students individually.  I start with this activity partly because it allows a very full range of movement and physical sensation while keeping the students anchored to their respective spots on the floor--it takes us a while to build the kind of safe environment in which it is wise to have them moving all at once--and partly because the Jr. Kindergarten's thematic approach focuses on Apples in September, when I begin with new students.  The main focus here is on creating real sensory experience from the imagination.  My students really enjoy it, and it seems to connect for them on a very visceral level.  Here it is:
The Story
* Personal space is a concept all of our students learn in gym, so I use it.  It just means find a space in which you can turn around with outstretched arms and not touch anyone.

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After the story is done, I ask my students questions about the experience.  I focus on "how did it feel" questions, and when, as invariably happens, the students have clear answers to these questions, I use this to demonstrate how powerful is the imagination.  Below are some sample questions.  (Note:  In  each case, the first question is the important one.  I ask that question and get as many original responses as I can.  Only if necessary do I then coach by asking the follow-up questions.) (Clearly these are only a few of the questions you could ask.)

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