For our strategy/ warm-up, Robyn and I were to follow a theme of relaxation. Because it is drama and we move a lot in drama, we wanted to incorporate muscle movement into our activity. We decided we wanted an activity that relaxed us, but also prepared our muscles for physical activity. Together, Robyn and I came up with a sequence of three exercises that allowed us to accomplish our goals.
Exercise 1 (Savasana). Have students lay down on their backs and close their eyes. They should have enough room around them to stretch without hitting others. Ask them to relax and let anything that is on their minds be freed. Explain to them that the feeling of relaxation is slowly spreading through their body. Describe this to them by starting with their toes, moving to their feet and heels, up through their ankles, etc. Once their whole body is completely relaxed, ask them to imagine that they are in their happy place. Let them lay like this in silence for at least 30 seconds.
Exercise 2 (Muscle Warm-up). For this exercise, students can remain in their “corps” positions on the floor from the last exercise, or they can stand up. As the teacher, you are to prompt your students to flex and release different muscles so that their whole body has eventually been flexed. For example, you could begin by telling students to pretend to pick up two lemons because they are going to make lemonade. Ask them to squeeze the lemons in each hand as tightly as possible and then release. Repeat this once. Then tell students that an elephant is about to step on their stomachs. Ask students to tighten their stomach muscles so that elephant won’t squish them and then tell them to release. Repeat this once. And so on. Once the entire body has been flexed, ask students to get up a stretch.
Exercise 3 (The Lion Tamer). Ask students to lay back down but this time they can lay in whatever position they feel most comfortable in. Explain to them that as the teacher you are the lion tamer and that they are the circus lions. Tell them that they have just gotten back from a long day at the circus so they are going to nap now. Explain that you will leave the room for a short amount of time but will return to take several lions who are awake to go back to the circus. Students need to what sleeping lions look like, and that as lions, they do not want to go back to the circus. Sleeping lions should have their eyes closed, aren’t moving, and aren’t making noise. When you come back into the room you will walk around asking if any lions are awake until a lion wakes up. Once a lion is awake, he will help you look for other awake lions until you have found enough lions or until time is up.
- Calms and relaxes students
- Prepares students muscles for physical activity
- Frees students’ minds from any stresses or worries
- The Lion Game may cause some some students to get figity and anxouse
- Could be used in gym or any other subject as a relaxation tool
- Yoga in itsself is very relaxing so more physical yoga exercies could be used as a full gym class lesson
- If there is not enough room, students could do the exercices sitting their desks with their heads down.
- Could be incorporated into process drama by prompting muscle movements through prompts related to the drama/ story. And instead of lion, character from the drama/ story could be used.
- Use other yoga exercises that are more physical than savasana