Here is a dance story based on the classic children's book The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss, that I have developed and danced with many groups of children. This dance story is in my book, Dance, Turn, Hop, Learn! Enriching Movement Activities for Preschoolers (Redleaf Press, 2006), as part of an expanded movement lesson about the spring season. It is a wonderful way to celebrate spring, as well as to give children an appreciation for the outdoors, gardening, and of course, the optimism that seeds will grow and flourish.
|Let's Do a Free Dance About the Carrot Seed Story!|
The Carrot Seed Dance Story
Title: The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss, Pictures by Crockett Johnson
Musical Selections: Two or three upbeat instrumental selections, and/or a song about gardening (such as “Dig, Dig, Dig” by Debbie Clement, or "In My Garden" by Raffi)
Props or Other Materials:
1. The book The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss, pictures by Crockett Johnson
2. Seed packets (small envelopes) -- draw, or have the children draw, a carrot on the front:
|Carrot Seed Packet|
Directions for the Activity:
Gather the children together and read the book aloud. Tell the children that they now will dance the story of the little boy who plants the carrot seed. Pass out the seed packets. Continue with the following ideas:
1. (Play one of the musical selections) and say to the children: A little boy planted a carrot. Let’s plant our carrots! Let’s dig a big hole with our imaginary shovels. Now, shake your seed packet into the hole, and cover up the hole with lots of soil.
2. Now that we have planted our seeds (set the packets aside), what is the next thing we should do? We should water them! Hold your pretend watering can or hose, and give your seed lots of water.
3. Plants love the rain, don’t they? Let’s imagine we are outside when it rains! Let’s run and jump in the rain. Stomp through mud puddles! Move like the rain as it falls slowly, then very fast and hard. Now let’s imagine we are running inside to get dry. Dry off your arms, head, and body with a pretend towel. Now let's go out and feel the warm sunshine, because it stopped raining!
4. We need to give the carrot seed lots of space to grow, so now we will weed. Take out your hoe, and weed all around your carrot plant.
|Digging the Dirt!|
Let’s get down on the ground and take the rest of the weeds out with our hands, just like the little boy in the story.
5. Stop the music, and take the next few minutes to create a little sound improvisation. Borrowing the idea from the book The Carrot Seed about the little boy who is so sure his seed will come up, but everyone else doubts it, say to the children: “I don’t think that seed you planted is going to grow!” And encourage them to say, “YES IT WILL!” Repeat this exchange several times. You can further develop this idea with non-verbal gestures, such as folded arms, head shakes, stamping feet, etc.
6. Now say to the children: Let’s count to three slowly together, one…two…three! Look! A carrot plant came up! It is a giant carrot! Now, let’s count again, and we will pull the carrot out of the ground! Repeat several times, as you encourage the children to explore what it would be like to pull a very large carrot out of the ground. The same idea applies for trying to carry the big carrot. Point out to them the difference in body movements when we are carrying something very heavy versus something very light.
7. We will finish our dance story with a free dance. I will play some music (another lively musical selection), and you can use all of the ideas we have talked about in the story: planting the seed, watering, dancing in the rain, the sunshine, pulling out the big carrot, and trying to carry it home. You may also add any other ideas you wish as you do your free dance.
8. Let’s finish by picking up the big carrots that we grew, very carefully so that we don’t drop them, and take a bow for the end of our Carrot Seed dance!
Copyright 2013 Connie Bergstein Dow
Happy Spring, and keep on dancin',