Way back when, I wrote a post about using the book The Lion's Share by Matthew McElligott with my early childhood kids. I stumbled upon this book by accident but its on my must-buy list for this summer. It is a funny, clever story that teaches the value of sharing and the math skills of halving and doubling. Its also lends itself perfectly to yoga with all of the animal characters!
As such for my after-school Kinder-2nd grade yoga class, I adapted my original lesson plan using The Lion's Share. As with the younger kids, my K-2 group was so engaged in the read aloud and in anticipating how many cakes each animal was going to have to make. As I turned each page to reveal more and more cakes, the kids scooted closer and closer to my mat, their eyes getting wider and wider. This book is brilliant!
A few things that I am so pleased with in this lesson plan:
- I introduced a mantra to start the class. Sa Ta Na Ma is a mantra about the cycle of life and I think its really sweet set to the tune of Where is Thumbkin. The kids touched their thumb to each finger for each syllable (Sa was thumb to pointer finger, Ta was thumb to middle finger, etc.) so they could synch movement to breath/syllable. It was really lovely and have them a different way to settle into class.
- After we did Sun Salutations and read the book, we did some warm-up breathing exercises and poses. I don't do this every time, but I really liked the way it set the kids up for doing bigger and more challenging poses.
- The game! What a hit! I used a ball to represent a "cake" and each kid chose an animal to be from the book. The kids then "passed the cake" to each other using their feet and flipping into plow pose. It was a blast! Definitely one I will use again.