AGES 3 - 6

[Movement Stories for Children]
Cover illustration by Mark Rimland

by Helen Landalf and Pamela Gerke
ISBN: 1-57525-048-9 *** $19.95 (8 1/2 x 11) *** 96 pages

Available from:
Smith and Kraus, Inc.
One Main Street
P.O. Box 127
Lyme, NH 03768

To order call: 800 895-4331

MOVEMENT STORIES FOR CHILDREN AGES 3-6 is an invaluable resource for preschool and primary teachers, daycare providers, studio dance teachers, parents, and anyone who seeks to enrich the lives of children through creative experiences. The ten Movement Stories in this book are active, imaginative tales to be told by a teacher as children act them out. Each story gives children an opportunity to experience a basic Movement Concept such as Level, Direction, or Size of movement. MOVEMENT STORIES FOR CHILDREN AGES 3-6 also contains a wealth of information about movement education, child development, and presentation of Movement Stories.

By Helen Landalf and Pamela Gerke

Table of Contents










Helen Landalf
has been teaching dance to children in public schools, preschools, and private dance studios since 1987. Helen is on the faculty of the internationally recognized Creative Dance Center in Seattle, Washington, and is an Artist in Residence for the Montana Public Schools. She frequently presents workshops for classroom teachers on integrating dance into the elementary curriculum. Helen is also a choreographer and performer of modern dance.

Pamela Gerke is author of Multicultural Plays for Children, Grades K-6 (in 2 volumes), published by Smith and Kraus, Inc. She has been Director and Playwright for Kids Action Theater Play Productions in Seattle since she founded it in 1988 and has written, directed and produced over twenty- five children's plays, as well as being composer and music director for several other shows. Pamela has worked as a children's music and movement specialist for over ten years and currently divides her time between Kids Action Theater, choral conducting, and composing.

Mark Rimland (cover illustrator) is an adult autistic artist whose paintings have been exhibited and won awards in exhibitions for handicapped artists throughout the United States. he is one of the autistic savants with whom Dustin Hoffman worked in preparation for his role in the Academy Award winning film "Rain Man." Mark has been featured in the recent PBS television series "People in Motion," and Parade Magazine.

Look for these upcoming books by the authors of
Movement Stories for Children Ages 3 - 6

by Pamela Gerke:
Multicultural Plays for Children
Volume 1: Grades K - 3
Volume 2: Grades 3 - 6
Published by Smith and Kraus, Inc.
Available July, 1996.

by Helen Landalf:
Moving the Earth: Teaching Earth Science Through Movement in Grades 3 - 6
Published by Smith and Kraus, Inc.
Available August, 1997.

The Secret Night World of Cats
A children's story, illustrated by Mark Rimland
Published by Smith and Kraus, Inc.
Available August, 1997.

For ordering information call 800 895-4331
or write to:
Smith and Kraus, Inc.
One Main Street
P.O. Box 127
Lyme, NH 03768

Excerpts from Movement Stories for Children Ages 3 - 6
by Helen Landalf and Pamela Gerke

Excerpt from introductory chapter "WHY MOVEMENT?"

Movement is the currency of life. Even when our bodies are at rest there is movement in the slow rise and fall of our breath and the coursing of blood through our veins. We move to survive, to learn, to discover where we end and the outer world begins.

Young children, in particular, have a nearly insatiable desire for movement. Witness the desperate striving of a toddler to take his or her first step, the breathless, active bodies of children on a playground, or the constant squirming of students confined to desks, and you will see how powerful the drive toward movement can be.

But, all too soon, we expect children to suppress the urge to move-to sit still, be quiet, stop fidgeting, pay attention. Many educational systems, in particular, seem to operate from the viewpoint that unless children are sitting still, solemnly facing the teacher, they are not learning.

Fortunately, educational researchers are beginning to discover that nothing could be further from the truth. With the publication of Frames of Mind, Howard Gardner's groundbreaking work on the Multiple Intelligences, new interest is being focused on the "Kinesthetic Leaner" - the child who actually learns best through movement.

Not only kinesthetic learners, but all students can derive numerous benefits from the use of movement as an educational tool. Body awareness, coordination, flexibility, and spatial awareness are some of the physical skills a child gains through movement. A child's cognitive skills develop through vocabulary- building and creative problem-solving, while his or her social/emotional self grows through cooperation with others and a growing sense of self-esteem. The very functioning of the brain itself is enhanced through repetition of specific developmental movements. Movement truly fosters the development of the whole child: body, mind, and spirit.

Excerpt from "The Painter and the Elves," a Movement Story by Helen Landalf.

by Helen Landalf

Movement Concepts:

Introduction: In our story today we'll be moving in different pathways. Pathways are like designs we paint on the floor or in the air with our body parts. Right where we are, let's try painting a straight pathways in the air with our hands ....

A curved pathway with our head ....

A zig-zag pathway with our elbow.

(It's very helpful to have visual examples to each kind of pathway to show the students. You can draw a straight line, a curved line, and a zig-zag line on the chalkboard or on a piece of paper which you pin to the bulletin board.)

(Before beginning the story, instruct children to "hide" together in a corner of the room.)

Once upon a time, there was a painter who loved to paint. She (or he) had many cans of paint of different colors spread out on the floor of her room. She had red paint, blue paint, yellow paint, greet paint-all of the colors of the rainbow.

Every night before the painter went to bed she put lids on her cans of paint so they wouldn't dry out. But one night she was so sleepy that she forgot to put the lids on . And who should sneak into the room that very night but some little elves.

(Motion for children to come out of their hiding place. Music begins.)

Well, when the elves saw the cans of paint, they were excited. Each elf went over to a can of paint (each child finds a place to stand) and stuck one hand in it. They were beautiful!

Next the elves stuck their heads in the paint. They got paint all over their hair.
Then they stuck their elbows in the paint.
They sat down in the paint and wiggled their bottoms.
Last of all, each elf jumped right into a can of paint and got paint all over its body.

Excerpt from "Life in the Bass Lane: An Undersea Adventure, A Movement Story by Pamela Gerke

by Pamela Gerke

Movement Concepts:

Introduction: Today we're going on an undersea adventure. Some of our story will take place in Self Space-that's when we stay in one place. But we'll also be moving around the room, which is called moving in General Space.

We'll be making shapes of different sizes. When we make a Big Shape, our arms and legs extend far away from the center of our bodies. Make a really big shape. Now make a little shape. Notice that when you make a little shape, you pull your arms and legs in close to the center of your body. What does a medium- sized shape look like?

(Begin with children standing) Walk around the room ... then stop!
In your own, special place,
Where you can stretch
Without touching anyone:
Your own self space.

Feel all around you
An invisible bubble. (Use hands to "feel" the space all around you)
While inside it you can move,
Protected from trouble.

Now, in your bubble, come with me
And we'll explore the mystery
Of the big, deep, blue sea ....

We sink into the water (slowly sink to the floor)
Going down, down, down
To the bottom of the ocean
Where there's hardly a sound. (Sit or lay down)

(whisper:) Listen to the silence of the ocean ... (Pause for a few moments of silence.)

In this watery world
We can be
All the living creatures
That we see.