Exploring Simple Machines With Creative Movement

Exploring Simple Machines With Creative Movement

William Paul Lindquist (Hamline University, USA), Martha James-Hassan (Morgan State University, USA) and Nathan C. Lindquist (Bethel University, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 32
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2334-5.ch005

Abstract

This chapter explores the use of creative movement to extend meaning to inquiry-based science investigations. This process embraces the addition of A to STEM to realize the impact of STEAM. The chapter builds on the import of scientific and physical literacy, interdisciplinary learning, and the power of kinesthetic engagement. Students become active collaborative agents within a dynamic model using creative movement to bring meaning to the science of simple machines. We utilize a Working Words into Movement strategy to help students use their past experiences and motor memory to explore, interpret, and engage with as they seek understanding of simple machines. A Midwest urban elementary school provides the context for a unit plan culminating in a dance performance. The foundational ideas presented within this unit can be enacted within any classroom by creative movement (physical education or dance) specialists, science specialists, or classroom generalists. It follows with a presentation of science content on simple machines exploring the disciplinary core idea of force and motion.
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Literature Review

Scientific Literacy

Within an increasingly complex and technological world facing growing global sustainability issues, it is critical our nation’s students develop a foundational level of scientific literacy. Whether they become scientists, journalists, or refuse handlers, their participation in today’s world requires the ability to think critically and act responsibly based on sound information and judgment. It will be the abilities to think and act that allow us to maintain and improve the quality of life for future generations to come. Through the process of teaching STEM concepts through movement and teaching movement competency framed in STEM content we can empower students in our classrooms to have the agency and self- confidence to become active participants rather than mere observers in the world.

To accomplish this end, students need engagement in the active “doing” of science. Through this engagement, they develop the proficiency to ask questions, design and carry out investigations, and reflect critically on the outcomes. Children learn science best by “doing” science (Martin, 2011). An engaged elementary classroom committed to the integrated needs of a STEAM curriculum needs to begin with a robust commitment to providing hands-on use of science process skills in open-ended inquiries. With that foundation as a base, learning is enriched and broadened throughout all aspects of STEAM – including the use of technology, the analysis of mathematics, meaningful interactions with text (in the broadest sense), and the integration of the arts – in our case, creative movement.

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