MOVE WITH ME! Lesson Plan 1 : All About Your Brain, Your Body, & You!

Move with Me! in Louisiana / Liz Bragdon / 985.778.3448 / [email protected] MOVE WITH ME! Lesson Plan 1 : All About Your Brain, Your Body, & You! ...
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Move with Me! in Louisiana / Liz Bragdon / 985.778.3448 / [email protected]

MOVE WITH ME! Lesson Plan 1 : All About Your Brain, Your Body, & You! Grade Level: This lesson plan can be used as-is for Pre-K to 1st graders. It may be easily adapted, as needed, for use with grades 2 through 6. Basic Standards Addressed: Physical Education & Health, Socio-Emotional Development, Logic & Reasoning, Science, Language Development & Skills, Creative Arts Expression Why? When children (or any of us!) have a better understanding of the Triune brain, combined with kinesthetic experiences of the three states of mind, they are better able to identify and manage their own well-being, emotions, and impulses. To support you, the Teacher, in understanding more about the connection between the brain, movement, socio-emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and self-regulation skillbuilding, we encourage you to read the accompanying materials, The Physiological Basis for Learning (separate pdf document) and The Magic of Movement (p. 3 of this document), before implementing this lesson plan with your students. Engage Me! (Ask your students) Where is your brain? (Share with appropriate age groups: You might be surprised to learn that you have brain cells all over your body, including your heart and your gut! Your whole body is a thinker and a doer, with all parts of you working together!) What do you do with your brain? How does your brain work with your body? Why might we want to learn about how the brain works? Activity 1: Bus Tour of the Brain, pp. 4 - 8 This is a story-based movement activity that takes children through the three different states of mind which represent different levels of cognitive function. Understanding these three different levels and how they affect our feelings and actions helps us understand ourselves and how to change our state of mind and/or approach to a problem, conflict, or other challenge, for the better. Activity 2: State of Mind Game, pp. 9 - 10 This game utilizes counting skills and reinforces children’s understanding of the three different states of mind.

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Move with Me! in Louisiana / Liz Bragdon / 985.778.3448 / [email protected]

Activity 3: Pass the Message, pp. 11 - 12 This game demonstrates, kinesthetically, how the brain becomes more efficient and develops higher level thinking and behavioral skills, such as cooperation, teamwork, and decision-making. Activity 4: The Power of Hydration, pp. 13 - 14 This activity demonstrates the power of water as a conductor of electricity and that the brain and the body must be hydrated in order to communicate successfully via millions of electro-chemical messages. Special Note: This lesson plan is adapted from our Move with Me: Movement and Mindfulness Curriculum. All activities and support materials are drawn directly from the same. If you enjoy this lesson plan and are interested in learning more about our curriculum, movement & storytime interactive DVDs, Self-Regulation Skill Flash cards and other wonderful educational support materials for classrooms, parents & kids, please visit: http://move-with-me.com/ . You can also contact Liz directly, here in Louisiana: 985.778.3448

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THE MAGIC OF MOVEMENT Physical play and movement are essential for growing minds and bodies. When you nurture the body, physically, you nurture the mind, both cognitively and emotionally. Providing your students with exercise that is integrated seamlessly with daily, active, creative play is the best way to lay a foundation for their physical fitness, as well as their intellectual and academic success. For studies and research on the benefits of exercise, the go-to man of our decade is Dr. John J Ratey, MD, an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. In Ratey’s seminal work, Spark, The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, he states, “Exercise is miracle grow for the brain.” Elevating your heart rate triggers an increased production of an essential brain growth factor, Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Slow, intentional movement concentrates that growth factor in areas of the brain that directly impact coordination of body and mind, our thought processes, and the enhancement of learning and memory. Exercise does not stand alone as a precursor to increased BDNF production. In a recent study published by Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., The Cognitive Benefits of Play: Effects on the Learning Brain, Dewar found that play not only promotes creative problem solving, better language skills, and improved memory, but that play and exploration also trigger the secretion of BDNF.













Play is the language of children and nature’s biological plan for learning Play generates joy which fuels the production of the positive chemical messengers: dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine, neurotransmitters essential for the physiology of growth and development Play is multi-sensory and invites the whole child to show up – body, mind, imagination, heart Play stimulates the executive functioning of the brain, creative thinking, and problem solving Play puts children in a present, focused, receptive, learning able state Regular active play and stimulating physical education enhance academic achievement, fitness, and behavior

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FLOOR MAP FOR MARCH OF THE PENGUINS – A

BUS TOUR OF THE BRAIN

March of the Penguins - Bus Tour of the Brain is a fun and effective way to help build self-awareness, cultivate emotional intelligence skills, and teach tools for recognizing the different physiological responses of the body related to the three primary levels of cognition. This activity kinesthetically engages children in the three different “States of Mind,” which represent different levels of cognitive function. Understanding these three different levels, and how they affect our actions and our ability to communicate, are the primary goals of the curriculum. March of the Penguins is used as the Story in Motion in the Introduction Lesson for both the Body and Mind Units. Prepare the indoor floor map for use in your classroom and familiarize yourself with the story included on the following pages. Procedure: Prepare an indoor or outdoor floor map before you begin the “tour.” Familiarize yourself with the script-story, included below. The floor mural must be large enough for small groups of children to physically step into each distinct area of the brain. Options:

• Outside – Sketch a temporary depiction of the Triune Brain (depicted Move with Me™ Action Adventures Copyright © 2013, all rights reserved.

Move with Me! in Louisiana / Liz Bragdon / 985.778.3448 / [email protected]

above) using three different colored pieces of sidewalk chalk • Inside - Draw the image below on a reusable white table cloth, shower curtain, or sheet, using three different Sharpie Pens.

Brain Stem –Reptilian - reflexive, automatic center Mid-Brain - Limbic - emotional center Neo-Cortex – Thinking - rational, executive center • Read Aloud and Take Your Students on the Tour! Once an appropriate floor map is complete, read aloud to you students and let them step through their first March of the Penguins - A Bus Tour of the Brain!

MARCH OF THE PENGUINS A BUS TOUR OF THE BRAIN Narrator/Conductor: All aboard our Circle Time Bus! Line up, line up, don’t crowd! Give everyone space. Our bus is leaving for the southern most tip of the Land of the Brain, a place called the Brain Stem. It’s dark in the Brain Stem so make sure you’ve packed your flashlights. Take yours out. Turn it on and off. Let’s go. It’s a bumpy ride! Wooh Wooooooooh!! First Stop - The Brain Stem!

Everybody off the bus quietly, please. Quiet. We don’t want to scare the penguins. Hey! Let’s be penguins! Arms tight to your body - turn your palms out - those are our wings. Our legs are shorts, so we need to waddle. These little baby steps keep us moving kind of slow.

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Move with Me! in Louisiana / Liz Bragdon / 985.778.3448 / [email protected]

Because it is so dark down here, we just have to sense where everyone else is. Where are you? Where are you? Keep your radar out for the other penguins! Let’s lean forward and rock back. Look at all those stars up in the sky! Now, lean forward and look at all the snow on the ground. Back, look at the stars! Forward, look at the ground. Back and forth, back and forth, slower and slower until you stop right in the middle. Time to find our bus again. Does anyone have a light? Let’s look around at each other. We’re all here, all safe and connected! Here’s our bus - all aboard! Wooh Wooooooh!!!! Second Stop - The Mid-Brain All penguins jump out into the Ocean of Emotion and take a swim! Shall we join them? Let’s do the breast stroke!

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Move with Me! in Louisiana / Liz Bragdon / 985.778.3448 / [email protected]

Arms straight out in front, backs of your wrists together, palms out: stroke, stroke....swim and swim, swim and swim. Let’s swim in circles! Let’s swim in lazy 8’s! Let’s swim slowly....swim in circles....swim fast! This feels great. Uh-oh - the penguins got too close together! They bumped! Oh, excuse me! Squawk with your beaks, penguins! Flap with your flippers, penguins! Take a deep breath. Reach your flippers to the sky, penguins! Now, sink, sink down, blow out the air! Another deep breath, flippers reach, reach, reach. Ahhhh...sink, sink, sink, and blow out the air! Come up to center for a gentle breath....ncie and easy. Let’s make sure we have room all round us to swim and play! Let’s swim back onto the bus! We’re going someplace new! Wooh Woooooooh!! Third Stop - The Cortex Welcome, welcome to the northern part of the Land of the Brain - The Cortex! Up here in the cortex there are amazing robots who love to follow directions. They move in a special way.

Arms out in front! Palms face in! Arms move up and away! Down, touch, up and away! Down, touch, up and away! Robots, walk forward! Robots, walk backwards! Robots, rock side-to-side, rock and rock....slowing down. Find the middle and STOP!

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Move with Me! in Louisiana / Liz Bragdon / 985.778.3448 / [email protected]

We’re back on the bus, riding back to the Ocean of Emotion. Those penguins are still swimming the breaststroke! Let’s swim and swim and swim and swim! Swimmers reach up, up, up, and sink down, down, down. Reach up, up, and down, down, slowing down, find the middle and STOP. Let’s waddle out of the water, arms tight to our sides. Small steps onto the bus. Wooh Wooooh!! Let’s ride! Back to our very own seats. It’s been a marvelous journey on the Circle Time Bus! See you next time!

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Move with Me! in Louisiana / Liz Bragdon / 985.778.3448 / [email protected]

State of Mind Game

Purpose: To understand the three different levels of cognition or “States of Mind”, to develop the ability to intentionally self-regulate by shifting our state of mind. Materials: 4 large dice, sidewalk chalk Standards Addressed: PDH, SED, AtL, LR, LD, LKS, MKS, SKS, CAE, ELD What to do: Using sidewalk chalk, draw a simplified depiction of the Triune Brain on the ground. Taking turns, children toss all four dice onto the Brain Map. They determine which area/state of the brain has the highest roll and then step into that state of mind. (Note: if no dice, use a group of items that are easy to toss and will not roll such as flat stones.) If you prefer to do this indoors, draw the Triune Brain map onto a giant piece of paper (like one might use for creating murals, often found in rolls) and use bean bags, instead of pebbles or dice. If they step into the … Brain Stem (Reptilian Brain) – Fight, flight or freeze Teacher says, “Our survival brain! We’re under stress!” Teacher then coaches children to: • Hold up fists, look mean, and ready to fight or • Call “JUMP up & Down!” wait 2-3 seconds than “FREEZE!” Repeat 2-3 times on your cue If they step into … Mid-Brain - Limbic System (Mammalian) - The emotional center Move with Me™ Action Adventures Copyright © 2013, all rights reserved.

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Teacher says, “Ah! Our mid-brain brain! The ocean of emotion! I’m calm. I can swim through my feelings, I can name them, feel them, and talk about them!” Teacher calls out different basic emotions. Kids act out the emotion, always ending with a positive emotion: • • •

Sad (boo hoo, rub eyes, cry) Happy (big smiles) Excited

• • •

Confused Tired Scare

If they step into… Neocortex – Thinking Brain Teacher says, “Our cortex! Our thinking brain, where we plan, communicate, and take action. We feel confident, courageous, and determined.” Teacher direct kids to do one of the following: • Introduce yourself to each other and shake hands • Hug a friend, or two, and tell them what you had for breakfast • Skip and pat your head • Invite a child to give directions to the group

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Pass the Message Purpose: To demonstrate that learning new tasks is easier and faster with repetition, to show, kinesthetically, how the brain prunes what isn’t used, in order to become more efficient, to develop higher level thinking such as: cooperation, teamwork, and decision making. Materials: Paper, timer Standards Addressed: PDH, SED, AtL, LR, LKS, MKS, SKS, ELD What to do: The object of this game is to deliver messages quickly and easily. Begin with 1 piece of regular white paper. Write one activity on it such as: Do 5 push-ups or Do 10 jumping jacks. Then crumple it into a ball. This crumpled paper ball contains the message to be passed. • • •



• • • • • •

Direct children to spread out into the usable space. Designate 2 players: one Sender, and one Receiver. Place them at opposite sides of the space. Hand sender the message ball and start timer. Sender hands off to another player, etc., until the message reaches Receiver. NOTE: Players may only take 1 step in any direction to pass the message. Receiver un-crumples paper, reads message, and everybody does the activity. (Note: if children do not read, help them, or draw the message in pictures) Stop timer once the activity is completed. Have all players who did not touch the paper sit down. Start the timer and play again 1-2 more times with the same message. All players, even the ones sitting, do the activity when the Receiver gets the message. Stop timer and compare completion times. Discuss why it went faster the second or third time.

Extension: For a greater challenge and to allow more children to participate at once, split the sentence between 3 pieces of paper. Write one word of the activity on each piece of paper – so there will be 3 paper balls to pass – each with 1 word of the message (Passer 1 (Do), Passer 2 (three), Passer 3 (donkey-kicks.)). When Receiver gets all three, s/he must un-crumple, and read the messages in proper order, for everyone to do the activity. Again, ask children who did

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Move with Me! in Louisiana / Liz Bragdon / 985.778.3448 / [email protected]

not touch the paper to sit, and repeat 3 times comparing completion times. This demonstrates how our brain functions. We have extensive synaptic (synapses are connections between our brain cells, the neurons) growth spurts at different stages of our lives. Research shows massive growth before the age of two, then significant pruning of the synapses. Growth continues to happen at different areas of the brain at different times. When we have great growth, our brain must prune to become more efficient, strengthening and myleinating areas we use and getting rid of connections we are not using. During growth spurts, it’s often more difficult to think quickly and clearly. Our brains are still very busy learning how to process the information.

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Move with Me! in Louisiana / Liz Bragdon / 985.778.3448 / [email protected]

The Power of Hydration Purpose: To reinforce the principle that water is the most easily accessed and frequently needed Adventure Skill, to demonstrate that water is a powerful conductor of electricity and that the human body, consisting of between 60%-75% water, needs to remain wellhydrated in order to deliver its millions of electrochemical messages.   Materials: Dehydrated green plant, energy ball*, cup of water Standards Addressed: AL, LR, LD, SKS, PHD What to do: This activity sets up a visual demonstration of the power of hydration. • Acquire a house plant and allow it to become wilted (not brown or dead). • Show the dehydrated plant to your class and ask them if they know what is wrong. After discussing its malady, ask for solutions. Should we give it juice, soda, milk, or water? • Water the plant and put it aside to be revisited at intervals during the day. • Show the energy ball and explain that it has two metal strips with different “charges”- one positive and one negative - and a light bulb inside. • Demonstrate that when both strips are touched by the same individual, the ball lights up and sings. What is powering the ball?! We are. We are the source of the electricity that lights up the ball. • Now form a circle with all children holding hands. Place the ball between yourself and the child next to you. You touch one of the metal strips on the ball, while the child touches the other strip. The ball will not light up until there is a complete circuit. When everyone is holding hands the electric circuit is complete. Children must touch skin; clothes do not conduct. • Let one or two children take their hands apart. Notice the light go out. Then, reconnect all hands in the circle. Take your own hand out of the hand of the child next to you and touch their cheek, their arm, and/or their leg. The ball light and sound will stop and start with every touch. • Take a bowl of water and place it between yourself and the child next to you. Ask the child to put his/her finger in the Move with Me™ Action Adventures Copyright © 2013, all rights reserved.

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Move with Me! in Louisiana / Liz Bragdon / 985.778.3448 / [email protected]

water. Then, you do the same. The ball will light and sing as the electricity is conducted through the water.

*



Teachable Moment: What do we need every day, especially when we are tired and droopy or sad or scared or mad? WATER!!



Revisit our friend the plant to see what hydration has done for her. Energy Balls are available at most educational supply stores including Safari, Ltd.

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