Using a familiar song, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” All-Stars, Monkeys, Giraffes, and Zebras increased their body awareness by touching and recognizing their body parts. Each class enjoyed singing the song and almost all the students independently followed the song by touching the respectively named body part: head, shoulders, knees, toes, eyes, ears, mouth, and nose.
When I brought out a mirror, students were very excited to see themselves. The mirror was a reward for students who were following the song and was a feedback object that gave them a chance to see themselves dancing to the song. When the students were in front of the mirror, they made comments about themselves and made silly faces. They became more aware of their body movements and some were stunned to see themselves dance while some were shy about looking at themselves. A few students did not feel comfortable to stand in front of the mirror.
The mirror also activates the mirror neurons in the students’ brains. The students are accustomed to dancing to the song with music without really looking at the specific body parts they are touching. While looking at themselves in the mirror, they are reinforcing to themselves that this is my knee, and this is my head by being their own model. It was harder for most young students to dance in front of the mirror, watching themselves compared to dancing without a mirror. This is an exciting time for students to develop body awareness and begin to see how they look when they move their bodies.