Name of Activity/Lesson: Dance and freeze
Sensory Related Skills we will be focusing on: The activity primarily focuses on developing the auditory discrimination skill, which represents the child’s ability to recognize distinct sounds and compare them with different sounds. Furthermore, the activity involves developing the auditory figure-ground type of discrimination, which prioritizes the ability to filter important sounds from the background. In addition, the activity allows children to engage in auditory attention processes. Lastly, additional skills used in the activity include vestibular development and proprioception.
Learning Objective (What will children gain from the activity): Children will learn how to distinguish specific sounds from similar ones to effectively filter them in the future. According to Ticktin (2021), the skill developed as an outcome of the activity will assist students in the future by helping them focus in a classroom with chatty peers or noisy external sounds.
Materials Needed: musical instruments and an electronic device for playing music. According to Ticktin (2021), the instruments can also be replaced by objects which produce distinguished sounds, such as pans or pots. The setup involves using the surrounding objects or environment to hide or visually disguise the musical instruments.
Description of the activity: The game focuses on developing children’s ability to distinguish sounds from different musical instruments or objects. The activity implies inviting children to a dancing game where they have to dance to background music. It is important to manage a comfortable volume of background music to ensure that the music’s volume does not exceed the sounds of instruments. However, the music should not be too quiet to the point where the background noise is undetectable. Furthermore, the children must stop dancing only when they hear a ‘freeze’ sound. The ‘freeze’ sound must be chosen in advance by the teacher in collaboration with the children. Lastly, it is necessary to ensure that musical instruments are not visible to the children to avoid switching focus to visual stimuli. The activity also provides the foundation for developing quick auditory-motor coordination because it implies the immediate suspension of movements.
Adaptation for children with auditory processing disorder: Children with auditory dysfunction can have difficulty distinguishing the sounds of different musical instruments. Firstly, to introduce the sounds from musical instruments, the teacher can ask other students to establish associative links between sounds and words, numbers, and letters (Kranowitz, 2005). The associations between letters or numbers will help children with auditory processing disorder to memorize the sounds and compare them during the activity. Furthermore, a child with auditory dysfunction can feel insecure due to lagging and failing in front of peers. Thus, it is important that the teacher establishes a relaxed atmosphere for the activity and favors positive communication between children.
Lastly, children with auditory processing disorder can benefit from the development of auditory-sequential memory. The skill includes the child’s ability to memorize the subsequent order of sounds (Reisman & Severino, 2020). In this case, adaptation will involve playing sounds from musical instruments in a specific order in the first few rounds of the game to allow the children with auditory processing disorder to remember the sounds. Alternatively, between rounds in the game, the teacher can ask students to take turns imitating different sounds from the musical instrument to refresh their memory and give them additional time to process the sounds.
Kranowitz, C. (2005). The out-of-sync child: Recognizing and coping with a sensory processing disorder. TarcherPerigee.
Reisman, F., & Severino, L. (2020). Using creativity to address dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. Taylor & Francis.
Ticktin, A. (2021). Play to progress: Lead your child to success using the power of sensory play. Penguin Publishing Group.