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Name of Activity:

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas Dance

Purpose of Activity:

To challenge students to listen and respond to directions as well as demonstrate basic motor skills in a rhythmic setting.

Suggested Grade Level:

K-2

Recommended music:

“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by the Countdown Kids

Description of Idea

The dance has movements that go with certain words of the song. They are repeated as that portion of the song is repeated.

Hold for 8 counts:

Combination #1
1-8: March 8x in place beginning with the R foot
1-8: Walk in circle to the R, 8 steps beginning with the R foot
1-8: March 8x in place beginning with the R foot
1-8: Walk in circle to the L, 8 steps beginning with the R foot

Combination #2 – Performed during the chorus
1-8: Point R toes front, step R, point L toes front, step L. (1-4)
With heels together and toes apart, Plie 2x (bend at the knees like an elevator, going down and up, down and up) arms go straight out to the side on the down motion and back in on the up motion. (5-8)
1-8: REPEAT

Combination #3
1-8: Facing to the R side wall, skip RLRL, each skip is 2 counts
1-8: Facing forward bring R arm up, L arm up, R arm down, L arm down (1-4) Make a circle with both arms in front of the body like an “explode” motion (5-8)
1-8: Using R hand above eyes look to the R as if searching (1-4), reverse using L hand above eyes and search to the L (5-8)
1-8: Walk 8 steps in a circle with knees flexed as if creeping around very quietly. End facing the front of the room
1-8: Facing to the L wall skip RLRL, each skip is 2 counts
1-8: Facing forward bring R arm up, L arm up, R arm down, L arm down (1-4) Make a circle with both arms in front of the body like an “explode” motion (5-8)

Repeat combination #2

Combination #4 – Crocodile
1-8: “No crocodiles” shake R finger “no” 2x (1-2) Open and close fingers of both hands like a crocodile 2x (3-4), bounce 2x (5-8)
1-8: Big jump with feet apart and arms out and back in with feet together and arms in to chest (1-4), repeat this big jump with arms out and in (5-8)
1-8: Taking a step forward with the R foot, point to self with R thumb, reverse the movement using the L thumb and stepping forward with L leg. (1-4) Circle arms in front of body repeating the “explode” movement (5-8)

Repeat Combination #2

Combination #5 – “Hippo eating hands”
1-8: Facing the wall to the R skip RL (1-4) Open arms wide-one up and one down and close like a big hippo mouth 2x (5-8)
1-8: Reverse these 8 counts facing to the L wall

Repeat Combination #2

Repeat Combination #3

Repeat Combination #2

Combination #6 – “No kangaroos”
1-8: Shake R finger as if saying “no” 2x (1-2) and 2 “kangaroo jumps” (3-4), bounce 2x (5-8)
1-8: Big jump with feet apart and arms out and back in with feet together and arms in to chest (1-4), repeat this big jump with arms out and in (5-8)
1-8: Taking a step forward with the R foot, point to self with R thumb, reverse the movement using the L thumb and stepping forward with L leg. (1-4) Circle arms in front of body repeating the “explode” movement (5-8)

Hold at the end of the song!

Teaching Suggestions:

Challenge the students to listen carefully to the music and put the movements with the words of the song. Emphasize the locomotor skill of skipping and the rhythmic challenge of putting of the movements to the music.

Feel free to change these combinations to make them easier or add to them to make them more challenging. To make a combination easier you can alter combination #2 to be 4 point-steps RLRL (1-8) followed by 4 plies. (1-8)

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Adaptations for children in wheelchairs: Almost all of the movements can be done with arms only or by moving the wheelchair in a circle, or to the R or L. Encourage the children to try and move with the words of the song and have fun with the movements.

Video:


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Submitted by Brenda Goodwin who teaches at Missouri State University Additional authors for this idea were Lauren Gore. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 12/2/2014.

Viewed 20574 times since 12/1/2014.

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