Effort Activities

Activities – Effort Component


Exploring Time

  1. Find a space by yourself.  Without leaving your space, move with the beat of the drum.  The beat will be very loud and quick to begin with, so you’ll want your movements to be very quick and sharp.  The trick to having very quick actions is to make them very short; something that’s really quick can’t go on for very long.  This action is called a sudden movement.



  1. This time the beat of the drum will be slower and longer.  Try to move your whole body as slowly as the drum beats, much like a balloon floating through the air or a feather being dropped from a high building.  Think about moving every part of your body slowly, not just your arms but your head, shoulders, back, stomach, legs, everything.  This action is called a sustained movement.



Moving at Different Speeds


  1. On the signal, move as fast as you can, but remain in self-space; on the next signal, freeze in a balanced position that you can hold very still.  Remember to try to go as fast as you can , but you must be able to stop on the signal without falling over.



  1. Now, on the start signal, move as slowly as you can in self-space.  Try to  move very slowly, but always keep moving.  On the stop signal, freeze in a balanced position.  Remember to stay in your self space.



Traveling and Freezing by Using Changes in Time


  1. This time, begin your traveling with a quick explosion of speed, and keep going at a fast speed; then freeze very quickly in a balanced position.  The movement should be like this; Begin really fast as if you have been shot out of a cannon; then move fast as if you are running from someone, then freeze quickly as if someone has surprised you and you can’t move.  Make each segment of your traveling very clear so I can tell when you change from one part to another.  I will give you the start signal, then you are on your own.



  1. Now that you have practiced sudden starts, traveling fast, and then freezing, you are going to make up a sequence using those speeds.  Choose one sudden start, fast-travel, and freeze position that you really like, and practice it until you can do it smoothly and with control.  Each of the three parts should be very clear and very different from one another.  After you think the sequence is really good, practice it three more times.   Remember to start and end in the same place each time. 



  1. Now begin very slowly, as a car does on a cold morning. As you warm up, gradually increase your speed until you are moving fast.  Then, freeze suddenly.  The sequence should look like this: a slow start, a gradual increase to fast speed, then a freeze. 


Combining Imagery and Time


  1. This time you are going to practice traveling the way different things that move fast or slow do.  Remember that you aren’t really trying to act like the things you are pretending to be; you are just trying to move at the speed they move.  Think carefully about it – a turtle moves very slowly.  Now try moving as a rabbit.  Go really quickly.



  1. How does a race car move?  Let’s try to go as fast as a race car can.  There is only one thing different about this race car.  It goes so fast that it can’t make any noise.  So go as fast as a silent race car.  Change your race car to an old jalopy trying to go uphill.  The car is really tired and old, so remember it goes very slowly.



  1. You’re the fastest sprinter in the Olympics and are in the starting blocks waiting for the gun to go off.  Go.  Now you’re a distance runner just about to start a 10 mile race; you have a long way to go, and you don’t want to wear yourself out.



  1. You’re a mouse running from a cat.  Now you’re a hippopotamus with a full stomach trying to run.


Differentiating Among Time Words


  1. Show me the difference among the words “dash,” “waddle,” “dart,” and “crawl.”  First dash.  Go.  Now, waddle.  Go.  Now dart. Go.  Next, crawl.  Go.  Remember to change your speeds with each word so the speeds are very clear.



Combining Sport Skills and Time


  1. Before beginning, I want you to think of your favorite sports character.  Be sure you can tell me who it is when I ask, because this is important. After you decide who it is, choose one action she or he performs that you really like. 


Now on the signal, you will perform the action your chose as it were on the video set at a fast speed – in a fast motion instead of slow motion.  Repeat your fast motion action four times, each time making the motion faster.


  1. Now do the same action as if it were in slow motion, just like instant replays.  Make sure there’s a clear difference between your fast and slow motions.  I should be able to tell them from watching which motions are fast and which are slow.


Exploring Force


  1. In your own space, with your whole body, make a statue that shows how strong you are.  (A strong force is also called  “heavy” or “firm”).  Now practice the activities again, but think about making every muscle in your body strong, even your head, neck stomach, back, hands, and feet.


  1. Now make a statue that is very light, such as a ghost would be.  Your statue should be so light that it would blow away if a strong wind came along.


  1. Now you are going to use different images you know to help you understand the force qualities.  On the signal, think of yourself as a pat of butter left out on a hot day.  All day long you sit in the hot sun, all weak and melted.  Then suddenly someone puts you in the refrigerator, and in a little while you feel strong and solid again.  Remember to make it clear with your whole body what it is like to be weak, and then make it clear with your whole body when you are strong again.


Showing Contrasts of Force


  1. On the signal I will call out an idea; you show me what the idea looks like by moving either strong or light.  Make it very clear which you are; strong or light.


    1. Frosty the Snowman

                                                              i.      Single snowflake falling through the air

                                                           ii.      Several snowflakes sticking together to make a shape

                                                         iii.      You are the solid sturdy snowman that can’t be knocked over

                                                          iv.      Snowman melting



    1. Creep/pounce

                                                              i.      Play hide and seek; creep very quietly from your hiding place so no one will see or hear you

                                                           ii.      Creep up to your runaway kitten; pounce on her and grab her before she runs away again.  Ready,  pounce.  Oops you missed.

                                                         iii.      Raindrop/thunderstorm

1.       You are a raindrop in a gentle spring rain, a rain that makes all the flowers bloom and the grass turn its greenest.

2.      Now you are a raindrop in a bad thunderstorm (blowing wind; trees falling down)

3.      Make your raindrop motions clear as to which are strong and which are light


Teaching the Concept of Flow


  1. On the signal, travel around the room and pause the instant you hear the stop signal.  I’m really looking for stops that happen suddenly, without you taking any extra steps.  Freeze in your tracks.  This kind of movement – jerky and with lots of stops – is said to have bound flow.  It doesn’t flow very smoothly


  1. This time pretend you are completely free, like an eagle soaring high.  Make your traveling seem as if it has no end; it could just keep going and going.  This type of movement is said to have free flow; it doesn’t stop, much like a balloon or cloud floating in the air.


Practicing Flow Sequences


  1. You are going to join words together to make a sequence.  Practice the words in the order you see them.  It is your choice to change from one word to the next.  Go.
    1. Melt                                        e. jump
    2. Inflate                                                f. spin
    3. Slither                                                g. stride
    4. Shrink                                    h. pop