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Dancing in the public garden :Animals
Friday 14 November 2008
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To work out the project to mime and dance on the theme of garden animals; to articulate this production with verbal and scientific document work.


- To recognize the expressions of animal life (locomotion, food…)
- To express images, characters, feelings and emotions with one’s body.
- To move about in unusual action forms that challenge one’s balance to jump…)
- To recognize pictures of various origins and natures


- To be able to use conjuring up language concerning the life of a well-known animal.
- To identify and name the nature of the pictures proposed.
- To observe, get to know and reproduce with one’s body an animal’s locomotion, attitudes.
- To be able to produce a sequence of two or three actions suggested by the teacher.


- Documentary books and films, albums, artists’ works’ copies representing the animal selected.
- Large cardboard boxes.
- A plastic tarpaulin through which 10- and 20-cm-diametered holes will be pierced.


1) During a walk in a garden :

- Observe the animals, collect signs of their passing by (feathers, …)
- Name the garden’s animals.
- Put forward hypotheses about the animals living there that cannot be seen.

2) Back in class:

- Start a documentary research (video films, books…)Among the garden’s animals, choose the one that the children prefer.

The pupils’ choice: the rabbit.
- Ask them to say everything this animal evokes to them.
- They describe it physically (it is long-eared…) and give information about its life ( the rabbit hides, leaps, nibbles at carrots…).

3) During a sequence in the playroom, go back to the verbs of action:

- Look for and experiment the various ways of leaping.
- Compare the rabbit’s locomotion and the leaps listed by the children with the help of a video
- Identify, name and express the characteristics observed with one’s body:Leap using the four limbs,

A few seconds’ stop: position of the body, disjointed head movement

- Show pictures representing rabbits.
- Let the children express themselves freely.
- Identify and name the representations of reality and of imagination.

In books, look for drawings, paintings, pictures representing rabbits.

- Select one and adopt the same position, attitude and expression.
- Hiding
- Get them to hide, using their body, alone (hiding their head, their feet, their hands…), or in pairs (hiding a part of or the whole of their body behind the other pupil…)
- Get them to hide or show only one part of their body, to hide themselves completely, using materials ( a big cardboard box, trees, a pierced-through tarpaulin…).
- Nibbling
- Define the verb « to nibble » in the literal and the figurative sense.
- Nibble a delimited empty space
- Nibble the other pupil’s space

Produce a sequence of 2 or 3 actions defined from these verbs of action and the movement’s components (space, time, energy).

For example: hiding a part of one’s body under the tarpaulin, going out of it quickly and stopping.

Produce the same sequence of actions making the children put themselves into the rabbit’s shoes. Use again the animal’s locomotion, positions and attitudes.


Make the expressive part more significant by working on the relationship with the others: to communicate through the sight, a movement’s reproduction…


(Collective )

It will deal with the other children’s ability to recognize the animal through verbal and body language.

Blandine Tissier Maître formateur et Directrice École maternelle Alsace Saint-Germain-en-Laye Yvelines France

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