Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shadow Dancing


One of our most beautiful experiences happened by accident.  On a very hectic day with a fire drill AND a tornado drill the overhead projector was left on.  As the children reentered the classroom they flowed into the different zones in the room.  As the children worked I noticed two girls had made their way to the carpet and started making shadow figures with their hands.  As they investigated how their body movement blocked the light on the wall I got inspired to add some music. 

As the music played their movements went from straight / quick hand movements to slow / curvy whole body movement.

As the music changed, so did their body movement.  

Slowly other children made their way to the carpet.  Even though the area was quickly filling up the children respected each other's space as they danced in the light.

 When the music changed again to Unchained Melody, the children went from dancing individually to pairing up and slow dancing.

At the end of the day I sat down to review the video that I took of the shadow dancing experience and wrote down some questions for myself.


  1. What attracted the children to this activity?  The newness of the light being projected?  Other children's interest of the activity?  The effect that the light had on their bodies?
  2. What role did the music have in the investigation?  Would the play had lasted as long as it did without it?  What mood did the music create? Would fast and loud music create the opposite effect of today's activity?
  3. What did the children discover from this activity?  What background knowledge did they bring to this activity?  Will they notice light and shadow in other areas? 
  4. How can we build from this experience? How long do we let them free explore before adding to the experience?  What materials could be added to the shadow dancing experience - scarves, hats?

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