There’s a lot of research out there that supports movement for learning. They are inter-related. Need some proof? According to researcher Terrence Dwyer, exercise supports success in school. His research found that exercise improves classroom behavior and academic performance (Dwyer, Sallis, Blizzard, Lazarus, & Dean, 2001) and that even when an experimental group got four times more exercise per week than a control group of their peers (375 minutes versus 90 minutes), their “loss” in studying time did not translate into lower academic scores (Dwyer, Blizzard, & Dean, 1996). His research further revealed that social skills improved in the groups who exercised more. Other research (Donevan & Andrew, 1986) has found that students who are engaged in daily physical education programs consistently show not just superior motor fitness, but better academic performance and a better attitude toward school than their students who do not participatein daily P.E.
Wow. That’s a lot of support for movement!
And…as if that’s not enough, after reading this article and this one and this one, I’m starting a new series called “Moving & Grooving Activities.” No worksheets, no sitting, no staring into space (although NONE of our kids ever do this, right?). We’re moving out from our little table and getting down with some movement!
This week it’s all about verbs, which is a a great way to start incorporating movement, since verbs are all about action.
1. Play this fun Verb Rap in your room. This is a super easy way to get those feet up and dancing to verbs! It’s repetitive and easy to follow and the kids LOVE it!
2. Charades. Write out verbs on note-cards. Have students draw a card and act out the verb. The person to correctly guess the verb gets to act out the next card. Examples include: jumping, running, walking, cooking, reading, skipping, thinking, rolling, squatting, waving and twirling. See if you can guess some of the verbs we’re acting out!
3. Discuss and teach differences of linking and action verbs. Paste a sign that says “linking verbs” on one wall and a sign that says “action verbs” on the opposite wall. Write out linking and action verbs on sticky-notes and have students sort verbs by sticking them to the corresponding wall. They will need to walk back and forth from the opposite walls in order to do this.
I hope your students will be moving and grooving this month while learning about verbs! I would love to hear some of the ways you are incorporating motion into your therapy sessions.