PreK Week 19 Effort: Fast v Slow





Effort – Fast v Slow


Equipment Needed

Control Cones, Safety Rules Poster, Stretching Station Cards, Maraca, Chime, 2×2 Mats, Hoops, movement music, Music Player, Yarn Balls and bean bags.

Content Standard Benchmarks or Common Core Standards

Learning Goals, Objectives, Expected Outcomes


  1. Demonstrate slow movement when the chime is playing.
  2. Demonstrate fast movement when the maraca is playing.
  3. Demonstrate a movement sequence that includes three different body parts moving slowly and three different ways of traveling fast.
  4. actively participate in the lesson activities and exercises.
  5. gain strength and flexibility through movement and stretching exercises.


  1. Create a sequence that includes three different body parts moving slowly, and three different ways of traveling quickly.


  1. Have Fun
  2. move and work safely among other children.




Entrance Routine
Welcome, stand in an own space inside the boundaries.  
Part 1


10 minutes

Rainbow Tornado

Talk to the children about Tornados, Hurricanes, or really strong storms. Talk about how they create a big mess and sometimes after a big storm things are thrown all over. Explain that when you mess up the gym during mess-up/Clean-up that it is like a tornado came into the gym. Talk about rainbows and that they come out after a storm and everything looks fresh and clean!  That is how the gym looks after we “Clean-up”!

Begin with everyone being tornados and then rainbows at the same time.  If time allows, have the children stand shoulder to shoulder and have half the class play the rainbows, cleaning up and the other half play tornado, messing things up! Give the students enough time to play both roles.

Put the yarn balls and bean bags on the spots around the boundaries.  
Part 2

New skill or concept

15 minutes

Fast v. Slow

Your children will explore the effort quality; Speed.  They will create slow movements in own space highlighting different body parts and travel quickly through the room space.  The children will then create a sequence of movement, or a dance that includes in place slow movement and traveling quick movement.

Slow motion in own space.

“When I say go, find an own space.  Show me how you can move your arms very slowly.

(Demonstrate slow movements with your arms) Use slow smooth movements.  There are many ways you can move your arms, but make sure you are moving them slowly.  Like slow motion!  What animal travels very slowly?  (Turtles, Snails, Slugs) Great job.”  Point out the different arm movements that you see.  You can also use a student or two that are moving slowly and smoothly, to demonstrate the concept of slow motion.  “Go find another own space.  This time I am going to play this chime (play it once so they can hear it) when you hear the chime sound, I want you to move your head in slow motion.  Ready, (Chime).  When you can’t hear it anymore, stop moving your head.  Remember to move it slowly and smoothly.”  Again you can point out the different ways that the students are moving their head slowly.  (Up and Down, Side to Side, Around, etc.)  “Find another own space, and when you get there, listen for the chime.  When you hear it, move your hips in slow motion.  Remember to stop moving when you cannot hear the chime anymore.”  “Go find another own space and when you hear the chime move your elbows in slow motion.”  Continue with this idea until you have gone through most of the body parts, and you are satisfied with their slow movement.  “Go to another own space, and you pick a body part to move in slow motion when you hear the chime.”  Continue to do this until you have moved as many different parts in slow motion as is practical and fun!

Fast movement traveling around room space.

“What is opposite of slow?  That’s right, fast!  What animals travel or move fast? (Lions, Cheetahs, Rabbits) This time, when you hear this sound (shake the maraca) I want you to travel all around the space, fast.  When the maraca stops, I want you to freeze.  Remember to be safe and use inside voices! Ready, (shake the maraca).”

Teaching Tips:

Often, fast movement includes loud voices.  You can stop most of the screaming before it starts by reminding the children to use inside voices.  If the volume goes up too much, stop the children and remind them that if they are loud, that is not safe.  Point out the children who are traveling quickly and quietly to give your students an example and a warm fuzzy!

As they travel, point out the ways you are seeing them travel fast.  Most of the ways will be on feet, since it is hard to travel fast with other body parts.  Encourage other ways of traveling besides running.  (Skip, gallop, slide, jump, hands and feet, sideways, etc.)  Stop playing the maraca, and watch to see that everyone freezes.  If not, sit out the ones who did not stop.  It is important that they listen to the music when they are moving, since this is an integral part of dance.  “This time when I play the maraca, you should pick another way of traveling fast.  Ready…”  Continue practicing ways of traveling fast until they have tried at least five ways of traveling, they are traveling to open spaces, safely and stopping when you stop the maraca.

Stay in the own space you finished in.  
Part 3


5 – 30 minutes
Slow and Fast
by Hap Palmer
From the Album Rhythms On Parade

During this song you can continue to have the children move body parts in own space slowly, or you can have the children travel through space slowly.  When the children travel slowly, explore moving in different levels and directions that lend themselves to slow moving.

Fast vs. Slow with a Drum beat

(To the children:)

“Listen to the drum beat.  I’m going to play two different beats or patterns.  (Play each set of beats for 10 seconds or so, one set of beats distinctly slow and one set distinctly fast.)  What was the difference between the two beats?  That’s right, one beat was slow and one beat was fast.”

Listen to the speed of the drum beat, travel slowly when the drum beats slow and travel fast when the drum beats fast. When the drum stops beating freeze.

  • This time when you freeze, freeze in a funny shape.
  • This time when you freeze, freeze in a small shape.
  • Each time that you freeze find a new shape to freeze your body in.
  • Change your level each time you change your speed.  See if you can find a way to travel slow in each level!  Can you travel fast in each level?
  • Change your Direction as you change your speed.  Pick a direction that you can travel safely in.

Song About Slow and Fast
by Hap Palmer
From the Album Walter the Waltzing Worm.

This song can be used in many ways. The children move slowly with the slow music and quickly with the fast music. The moving may be done in place, or traveling through space; with isolated body parts or the whole body. Encourage children to explore other movement qualities in addition to tempo as well as spatial concepts, with questions. such as:

  • “Each time you change speed can you also change your level?”
  • “Can you move slowly in a tight and tense way and quickly in a loose and floppy  way?”
  • “Try moving slowly in straight pathways and quickly in curved pathways.”
  • “What else can you do as you move slowly? quickly?”
  • “Can you move your arms quickly as you move slowly?”
  • “Can you move your arms slowly as you move quickly?”
  • “What other body parts can you move as you travel slowly and quickly?”
  • “Can you travel slow and fast without using your legs?”

Fast v. Slow Dance – Creative

“Think of all the body parts that you can move slowly.  Stay in your own space, and when you hear me hit the chime, move one body part slowly.  When I hit the chime the second time, move another body part slowly.  Ready, (hit the chime and wait 5 seconds and then hit it again.)  Great job.”  While they are moving their body parts, point out the different parts you see, and point out the students who clearly picked out two different parts, and were moving their body part in slow motion.  “Let’s add one more body part, so that you have three different body parts, and I’ll play the chime three times.  Each time you move a different body part, ready… (Hit the chime and wait 5 seconds in between the second and third times.)  “Now I am going to play the maraca, and you will travel fast.  Pick one way to travel fast, ready… (Play the maraca for 10 to 15 seconds.)” While they are traveling, point out the ways you see to travel.

“Now you’re going to put it together to make a dance, when I play the chime again, you will move one body part each time I hit the chime.  Remember each time I hit the chime, pick different body part to move; I’ll hit the chime three times.  Then I am going to play the maraca, when you hear the maraca that means you will travel quickly around our space.  Each time you travel, think of a different way to travel fast.  Let’s try it.”  Begin playing the chime.  Walk around as the chime resonates, allowing 5 seconds or so between each hit of the chime.  Remind them to change body parts each time the chime is hit.  Point out the different body parts you see.  You can even point things out like the use of different levels, or really creative movements that you see.  Immediately following the end of the third chime, start playing the maraca.  Remind the class to move safely.  Go to open spaces.  Point out the different ways of traveling.  After 15 seconds or so, stop playing the maraca, allow 2 seconds or so to establish a freeze, and then begin playing the chime again.  Remind them to stay in own space, to move a different part each time, and point out the cool things.  Continue on with this sequence, reminding the students to travel new ways, and try different body parts to move.  After 4 or 5 times through the sequence, you can stop.

Transition Get a mat and put it in an own space for stretches.  
Part 4

Stretching & closure

Taking it Home

5 miutes


Shoulder Stretchshoulder stretch

Put your right arm across your body so it is near your left shoulder. Extend until you feel the stretch in the back of your shoulder.  To push the stretch a little further, hold your right arm with your left hand. Hold for about 8-10 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Lying Hamstrings Stretchlying hamstring stretch

Lie on your back (on the mat or on the floor).  Bend your left leg.  Hold your right leg with one hand behind the thigh and the other behind the calf muscle. Slowly, maintaining your right leg as straight as possible, pull it towards you until you feel the stretch down the back of your thigh. Allow the muscle to relax into the stretch. Hold for 20 – 30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

Lying Quadriceps Stretchlying quad stretch

Lay on your front surface, maintaining your hips on the floor, bring your left leg up behind you and hold your foot. Keep your head down and your neck relaxed. Hold for about 30 seconds then repeat on the right leg.


Teaching Tips:

Meet the class meet in your common meeting place to close.  This defines the beginning and end of the lesson.  This is a cognitive review, make sure the children use words to describe the answers and not only their body! 

While you are discussing the body parts, point out the body parts on the poster as the children volunteer the answers. 

  1. What was one of the body parts that you moved in own space using slow motion?
  2. Describe one of the ways you traveled fast during the fast part of the song?
  3. What levels did you travel in when you were traveling fast?
  4. What levels did you travel in when you were traveling slow?


Show someone at home your fast and slow dance!