Listen, Move, Think! An ideal approach to creative movement arts integration.
Often times, we don’t have a lot of time to devote to arts integration programs that require a couple of hours to complete a very cool activity in visual arts, for example. Acquiring and preparing all the supplies needed for a papier-mâché project and then helping your students to develop their technique to create something visually appealing can seem daunting, to say the least, and feel, quite honestly, more trouble than it’s worth. While arts integration is our goal, the reality of many professionals is that time, and not a commitment to the arts, determines what they can do, realistically.
For the majority of classroom professionals, we have six hours of daily instructional time. While the school day is not getting any longer, what we are asked to fit in the day continues to increase and large blocks of time needed to engage students in visual arts projects or dramatic arts projects are in very short supply. Therefore, for many professional committed to building a strong arts centered pedagogy a central question is “what approaches are available that are flexible enough to easily fit into my daily program that has 5 minutes here and 7 minutes there?” If we take all the 5 or 7 minute times we have throughout the day, we’re, most likely, talking about 30 minutes everyday. THIRTY MINUTES A DAY. That’s two and a half hours a week. Two and one half hours that could be spent on the arts without changing anything in our current daily schedules. 2 1/2 hours. Think about it. Over the course of an entire school year, that’s 450 hours of arts.
450 hours of arts each year without altering your current daily program. Wow! If that weren’t enough to convince you that your can bring more art to your students with fewer hassles, add to this that Listen, Move, Think! is a movement based arts integration approach, a gross motor approach to movement and not a fine motor approach. Most children need to stretch their bodies as well as their minds and it’s getting more productive movement activities into our daily routine that seems to be a struggle.
While this may not come as a surprise, research suggests that most children’s preferred modality of learning is auditory/kinesthetic. We’ll connect with more children through sound and movement—through sound and movement. Sound and movement are at the heart of Listen, Move, Think! The difference between the movement involved in this approach and movement involved in programs such as GoNoodle and Brain Breaks, for example, is that the movement in Listen, Move, Think! is based on Laban Movement Efforts and aligned with NDEO’s national movement standards. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying moving in fun and exciting ways as a way to “shake your sillies out.” And yet, there needs to be a more purposeful and a more authentic creative movement alternative to the hundreds of YouTube energizer videos—an approach to creative movement that honors the arts with authentic movement experiences that build children’s repertoire of movements as well as their skills in moving creatively.
I’ve added a link to a “white paper” that will quickly and clearly outline the purpose of this approach and its benefits to your students. Additionally, most of the questions that you may have or that your administrator might have should be addressed in it.