“Wow, this is so cool!”
“It’s a spider web!”
“Do we get to be spiders?”
Students are surprised and amazed when they walk into the music room to see a blue spider web on the floor. They immediately want to play in it and are automatically drawn in to act like spiders. After we move our chairs out of the web, they are wide-eyed at the magnitude of the web and start crawling, spinning around, and pretending to be stuck in the web.
I put on sound effect music that has pauses to facilitate impulse control as well as their listening skills. Instructed to stay and follow the lines, students are free to move in the spider web any way they know: forward, backward, sideways, tip toe, spinning, with hands, and with feet. They are controlled, slow, and move at a steady walking/crawling pace. We get creative in walking on two lines, walking in circles/hexagons, taking different line paths by traveling across the web, taking sharp turns, or moving to different concentric hexagons mid-path.
Even after being in the web for four minutes, students want to continue playing in it and exploring different ways to move on the lines. We listened to “Monster Mash” and pretend to be monster spiders while walking on the lines. Some students put on their monster faces and hands. I enjoyed watching students change their hands into little claws to follow the lines and putting their faces right on the lines as spider monsters. The faster pace music helped them move with a little more fervor on the spider web lines.
With wonderful imaginations, the students had a great time as spiders following the spider web lines. Several of the older students told me how they were building the web, catching flies, or spinning a web around their friends. Students worked on their gross motor skills, balance, coordination, creativity in how they chose to travel, spatial awareness to watch out for their friends who may be traveling the same line. Of the 130+ students, two crashed into each other because they were both running spiders; they had to work to slow down their body movements. After much exploration, the some of the students started to try different ways to travel: across the room on the diagonal lines, and going from one hexagon to the other feeling the tightness of the inner rings and the largeness of the outer rings. Many of them loved staying in the center of the web and watching their friends circle around them. They learned how they can travel in space without continuously going in circles. The spider web lines are a great visual cue of where to travel and provide multiple paths to follow while music sets the atmosphere and pacing of spider movements.