During the warm-up activity, students should be walking quickly, not running. Check that desks and chairs do not pose a hazard. Remind students to be cautious when moving and to be aware of the personal space of others.
Students will actively and safely explore animal movements.
The V Formation
- Explain how and why geese and some other birds fly in a V-shaped formation (“Formation flight of birds improves aerodynamic efficiency”. P. B. S. Lissaman, Carl A. Shollenberger (1970). Formation Flight of Birds, Science, Retrieved from www.sciencemag.org.)
- Students start in groups of 6-8, and stand in two lines that form a V. The student in front (i.e., at the point of the V) leads their group around the activity area slowly, with all group members following the leader’s moves. On your signal, the first student goes to the end of one line, and one of the two students at front becomes the leader. Continue this pattern, moving a little faster each time a new student leads.
- Groups of 6-8 students begin by choosing one of the stations. They move in the shape of the corresponding animal for about 30 seconds, then move to next station.
- Groups stay together and perform each station as a group. Visit all stations.
Rabbit: Hop 25 times on the spot.
Frog: Jump the width of the activity area.
Marten: Stand, touch toes, put hands one or two paces in front of you, jump to where your hands are, and repeat 5 times.
Bear: Take big strides and walk 2 lengths of the activity area.
Deer: Run as fast as you can around the activity area.
Duck: Crouch, waddle and count to 10.
Fox: Walk slowly, then crouch, then run around the activity area 3 times. Turtle: Crawl on hands and knees once around the activity area (alternative: if scooters are available, students can lie on them on their belly, and use their hands and feet to move).
Dog: Run for 10 strides, then stop and twirl 2 times, run for 10 more strides, and finally twirl 2 times.
Goose: Flap arms 10 times while running around the activity area.
- Once groups have completed the stations, students share their favourite animal and lead the class in the movements for 20–30 seconds each.
Chugga Chugga Train
- Join the students in moving around the space. Begin “picking up” students, one behind the other, with each placing hands on waist of the person in front.
- Students who are waiting to join the train call out “The Polar Bear Express.”
- Continue until the whole class is connected.
- Lead (or ask a student to lead) a series of stretches. Consult the examples in Appendix B.
- In Animal Walks, focus on only a few activities at first, and slowly add new ones. You may need to demonstrate some / all of the stations.
- For earlier grades, you may need to ensure that each group has a student who can read, or direct the activity yourself.
- Ask students to reflect on which animals move fastest, which move slowest, and where they (students) would fit on that list.
- Ask students if they go fishing and / or hunting. Discuss what kind of animals or fish they catch, and what they do with them.
- Incorporate this activity into teachings about animals. What lessons do these animals give us? What can we learn from the way these animals walk?
- Ask students if they know any traditional stories about any of these or other animals. If the library or resource centre has any books on traditional stories, you could read them to the students, tell an oral story about one or more of the animals, or invite an Elder / Storyteller to share some stories (see Appendix F).