Continuing the quest for clues about each child’s creative strengths, I present these activities for three more elements of the Sensory Alphabet.
- Demonstrate turning around once and posing like a statue.
- Encourage children to make their own unique poses.
- Videotape several children doing so at the same time.
A child strong in body movement will show control in turning around and will create an interesting pose.
- May not follow directions in one way or another, which may indicate a lack of interest in movement.
- May show a lack of control, be unable to stop moving, or act very silly, indicating they may have a strength in movement but it is difficult to ascertain from their actions.
Cross the Bridge
- Use chalk or tape to create a line in the middle of the room.
- Ask children to show an interesting way to get from one side of the line to the other.
- Videotape or photograph each one.
A child with a movement strength will do something that shows control/skill and imagination. Examples: turn a cartwheel, broad jump, leap, dance, gallop, somersault, tiptoe backward, spin on their head, etc.
- Some may simply step over the line, which may indicate a lack of interest in movement.
- Some children may take a long time to think of something, which also may indicate little imagination in movement.
- Give each child about 5 seconds to make as many animal sounds as they can (with voice/body).
- Record each one and notate their names just before they make the sounds.
A child with a strength in sound will probably produce many sounds and/or the sounds will seem fairly realistic.
- Some children may take a long time to think of what to do or may make few (or no) sounds, indicating they may not have an interest in this area.
- Some children may say words like “Moo!” that sound like words more than sounds, indicating they may have strengths in other elements.
- Prepare four (real) glasses with different amounts of water. Alternatively provide a xylophone or other instrument with only 4 pitches.
- Show the children how to strike the glasses with a pencil to make sounds.
- Give each child a few seconds to try out the glasses and then record each making a short melody. (No more than about 20 seconds.)
This child with a sound strength will create a pleasant or interesting melody.
- Some may make random sounds or make a minimal tune, showing little interest in sound.
- Some may create a rhythmic beat, indicating more interest in rhythm.
- Clap a steady rhythm and ask the children to join in.
- Creates a simple clapping rhythm (with 2-6 beats) and ask the children to echo after each one.
- Ask the children to take turns clapping their own rhythms (or beating them on a drum or with another percussion instrument.) If possible video each child and stop them after 25-30 seconds. If you audiotape them instead be sure to say each child’s name before they begin.
A child with an aural rhythm strength can easily perform all the tasks.
- Some children may be able to keep or repeat a beat but not generate a steady or interesting beat on their own.
- Some children may not be able to keep or repeat a beat.
- Give each child a long shoelace and their choice of pony bead colors or cut up drinking straws of different colors.
- Ask them to create an interesting necklace pattern with the beads.
Variation: This can also be done with Avery dots or different stamps on paper.
A child who shows a consistent (or close to consistent) pattern may have a strong visual sense of rhythm. Example: AB AB AB AB. The more complex the pattern, the stronger the sense. Example: ABC ABC ABC or AAA BBB CCC DDD
- May show no discernible pattern.
- May show patterns but not consistently.