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Walking on the Line

Purpose

Direct: Helping the child work on concentration, coordination of movements and extortion of will.
 
Indirect: Awareness of their body and building up balance.

Points of Interests
Keeping your head up as much as possible to not let the basket fall off.

Age
2 1/2 – 6 years

Material

- The Red Line
- A hand-held Flag
- A Bell on a string
- A Small Glass of Water filled to the rim
- A Basket

Presentation

Introduction

Between the ages of 3 to 6, the child needs to practice, perfect, and consolidate the body’s movements. For this reason, Dr. Montessori began using the “Walking on the Line” as a Practical Life exercise. This exercise helps the child control his body, develop balance and perfect equilibrium, as well as to strengthen the mind’s control of its body’s movements. The “line” used during this exercise is a continuous and permanent shape in the environment. With its two straight lines and two lightly curved sides, an ellipse is what most environments have found to be the most suitable for this lesson. The width should be a little wider than the shoe of a child and the line should never be covered or obstructed. During this exercise, you may want to play some soft, steady, and calm music in the background. Once the lesson has been given, this is a spontaneous individual or group activity.

Preparation

  1. Invite 3-4 children to come participate in your lesson.
  2. Show each child where exactly to sit near the line.
  3. Once the children are seated, you sit so that you can see them all, they all can see you, and yet you are not in front of them. Tell the children that you will be showing them the exercise of “Walking on the Line”.

Presentation

Step One:            

  1. Invite the children to all stand on the line, equidistance from each other.
  2. Ask them that when the music begins, please walk on the line is a normal manner, but keeping the same distance from the person in front of them.
  3. Once the music has stopped, they can all have a seat where they were.
  4. Start playing the music and stop it when you feel they are loosing their concentration.
  5. Discuss as a group how this was for each of the children. Tell the children that they are free t walk on the line just as you did today when ever they would like.

When the children from this group are comfortable enough with this step, move on to Step 2.

Step Two:

  1. Invite the children who have been successful in Step 1 and who need more of a challenge and have them sit next to the line.
  2. Tell them that this time when the music starts, you would like them to walk on the line by placing their feet heel to toe.
  3. Remind them to keep the same distance from the person in front of them and once the music has stopped, they can all have a seat where they were.
  4. Have them stand on the line, equidistance from each other. Start playing the music and stop it when you feel they are loosing their  concentration.
  5. Discuss as a group how this was for each of the children.
  6. Tell the children that they are free to walk on the line just as you did today when ever they would like.

When the children from this group are comfortable enough with this step, move on to Step 3.

Step Thee:

This step has four subdivisions to it:

A. Walking on the line while carrying a hand flag or bell.
B. Walking one the line while carrying a glass of water.
C. Walking on the line while carrying 2 different objects.
D. Walking on the line with something on your head

Before each subdivision, have the appropriate material available for each child.

Subdivision A:

  1. Invite the children who have been successful in Steps 1 and 2 and who need more of a challenge and have them sit next to the line.
  2. Tell them that this time when the music starts, you would like them to walk on the line by placing their feet heel to toe while carrying a flag (or bell) at an arms length away from them.
  3.  Remind them to keep the same distance from the person in front of them and once the music has stopped, they can all have a seat where they were.
  4. Have them stand on the line, equidistance from each other and hand them each a hand flag (or bell).
  5. Start playing the music and stop it when you feel they are loosing their concentration.
  6. Discuss as a group how this was for each of the children.
  7. Tell the children that they are free to walk on the line just as you did today when ever they would like.

When the children from this group are comfortable enough with this subdivision, move on to Subdivision B.

Subdivision B:

  1. Invite the children who have been successful in Subdivision A and who need more of a challenge and have them sit next to the line.
  2. Tell them that this time when the music starts, you would like them to walk on the line by placing their feet heel to toe while carrying a glass of water filled to the brim at an arms length away from them. 
  3. Remind them to keep the same distance from the person in front of them and once the music has stopped, they can all have a seat where they were.
  4. Have them stand on the line, equidistance from each other and hand them each a glass of water. (Start playing the music and stop it when you feel they are loosing their concentration.)
  5. Discuss as a group how this was for each of the children.
  6. Tell the children that they are free to walk on the line just as you did today when ever they would like.

When the children from this group are comfortable enough with this subdivision, move on to Subdivision C.

Subdivision C:

  1. Invite the children who have been successful in Subdivisions A and B and who need more of a challenge, to have a seat next to the line.
  2. Tell them that this time when the music starts, you would like them to walk on the line by placing their feet heel to toe while carrying a two objects!
  3. Tell them that this will be a flag (or bell) and glass of water filled to the brim.
  4. Remind them to keep the same distance from the person in front of them and once the music has stopped, they can all have a seat where they were.
  5. Have them stand on the line, equidistance from each other and hand them each a flag (or bell) and a glass of water. (Start playing the music and stop it when you feel they are loosing their concentration.)
  6. Discuss as a group how this was for each of the children.
  7. Tell the children that they are free to walk on the line just as you did today when ever they would like.

When the children from this group are comfortable enough with this
subdivision, move on to Subdivision D.

Subdivision D:

  1. Invite the children who have been successful in Subdivisions A and B and C and who need more of a challenge, to have a seat next to the line.
  2. Tell them that this time when the music starts, you would like them to walk on the line by placing their feet heel to toe while carrying a two objects and placing a basket on top of their heads!
  3. Tell them that this will be a flag (or bell) and glass of water filled to the brim. As they are walking, you will be placing a basket on top of their heads.
  4. Tell them that you will also be taking off the baskets one at a time near the end.
  5. Remind them to keep the same distance from the person in front of them and once the music has stopped, they can replace the objects in their hands onto the table and have a seat where they were.
  6.  Have them stand on the line, equidistance from each other and hand them each a flag (or bell) and a glass of water.
  7. Start playing the music and slowly place a basket on top of every child’s head. Begin taking off the baskets as the attention level begins to drop.
  8. Stop the music once all baskets are off of their heads.
  9. Discuss as a group how this was for each of the children.
  10. Tell the children that they are free to walk on the line just as you did today when ever they would like.

 

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