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Dancersize and Creative Composing – Think Outside the Box

Most of you have purchased your Girl Scout materials, and some of you have already started having meetings.   Now I have a challenge for you!!  Think outside the box.  Think back to your favorite teacher growing up, or even one of your child’s teachers (one that really stood out as something special).  I’ll just bet, that he or she implemented original ideas in the classroom, by supplementing the provided text with fresh activities and ideas.  You can do the same in your Girls Scout program.

At a national level Girl Scouts has provided a variety of programs and tools to use with our girls (some better than others).  As leaders we can make the materials fit the needs and interests of the girls in our individual troops.  One of my favorite ways to spice up our Girl Scout  programs is to add a theme.  That theme is often built on  childrens literature as you will see in some of the following activities. 

The following activities will be built on the Dancersize Try-it and the Creative Composing Try-it.   I have taken those try-its and turned the activities into a serious of 3 meetings each with a different theme.  The first “Sock Hop” is a fun way to kick off the Try-its, the second HipHop Halloween Ball is built on a children’s story book, and finally the Cool Cats (or Halloween Cats)  incorporates a new spin on an old children’s story.  Keep in mind that you can change these ideas to fit the needs of your own group of girls.                                                                                                                         

Meeting One – Sock Hop 

Ways To Enhance The Sock Hop

Dress Up:  Provide scarves (or fabric squares) for girls to tie at their necks, 50’s style.  You may also want to provide a cut out of each girl’s first initil to tape to her shirt.  Our Cadettes led this Try-It, and they wore poodle skirts, and other 50s Day outfits.  They really got into it.

Snack: Kick this day off with a yummy 50’s Day snack, we chose Root Beer Floats.

Activity #4 Dance Party (page 25 in Try It book – Dancercize )

Sock Hop:  Let the dance party begin.  Turn on music from the 1950’s and encourage the girls to dance (you should get in on the fun too).  Encourage the girls to dance in their own way, moving to the music.  You may also want to plan a dance or two like the Bunny Hop or the Hokey Pokey.  Hula Hoops could be another fun addition.

Activity #1 Compose A Song (page 152 in Try It book – Creative Composing)

Your own 50’s Day song:  Let the music of the 50’s inspire you and your girls.  The girls can take the frame work and tune of a song like the “Bunny Hop” and use it to compose their own.  This is just an example, your group will come up with wonderful ideas on their own…I used the tune of the Bunny Hop (sort of) to make up this two line example.

We’re the Brownie Girls Scouts.  Bop Bop Bop

We can be a sister to every scout…

Meeting Two – Shake Dem Halloween Bones

Continue working on Dancersize and Creative Composing Try Its.

Ways To Enhance Shake Dem Halloween Bones

Snack:  Pumpkin Cookies.  Provide the girls with plain sugar cookies in the shape of a circle, orange icing, and candy corn.  Give each child a cookie and a Popsicles stick with icing on it.  Ask the girls to spread the icing on their cookie.  Then pass out the candy corn, invite girls to design their own pumpkin face!

Shared Reading:  Shake Dem Halloween Bones  This is a fun rhythmic story!  You may want to read it  while the girls eat their snack.  You can find this at your library or buy it here at Amazon.  


Activity #2 Compose Music For Instruments (page 152 on Try It book)  

Make  a music shaker.   (Although making an instrument is not exactly one the 4 choices but it work with the idea and intent of the patch, BUT it could coordinate with Activity #1 Make Your Own of the Sounds of Music Try It, located on page 164).

You may even want to invite them to shake their instrument and ask them if they can hear the “Halloween bones”.  Invite the girls to create different rhythm pattern with their “Halloween Bones Shaker”.

Activity #3 Compose A Poem (page 152 of Try It book – Creative Composing) and Activity #3 My Own Dance (Page 25 of Try It book – Dancersize)  

Pattern a poem after the word in the book, allowing the girls to fill in part with their own words, and add their own movements.  Just an example…

Come on little brownie wont you dance with me

Kick up you leg and pat your knee…

Meeting Three – Cool Cats (or Halloween Cats)

Continue working on Dancersize and Creative Composing Try Its.

Ways To Enhance Cool Cats (or Halloween Cats)

Dress Up:  use washable marker to draw whiskers on the girls.  Make kitty ears by cutting out felt trainges, make 2 wholes or slits at the bottom of each ear and slide the eats onto a plastic head band (you can by cheap head bands at the dollar store).  Note: We have also used this Dress Up activity to enhance the Numbers and Shapes Try-It on page 114-117.

Snack:  Kitty Cupcake.  Povide each child with a plain cupcake, and icing (if you are doing a Halloween Cat theme black or brown icing would be a good choice), pretzels for whiskers, small m&m’s for eyes chocolate chips for nose and ears.  Links with cute examples and other ideas Kitty Cupcakes , Kitty Cat Cupcakes.

Activity #5 Compose a Play (page 153 of Try It book – Creative Composing)

The girls will make up a skit based on the story of “The 3 Little Pigs”, but this time it won’t be pigs going off into the world to build their houses, it will be cats.  The girls will first help to organize the story.  Let them help decide if their will be 3 Halloween Cats, or more, or even less.  What will be chasing them?  A wolf, a giant pumpkin, a dog…?  They need to decide who will play the part of the “big bad” character, and finally they will need to decide on an ending.  Help them think of a way to incorporate part of the Girl Scout Law into a new ending.  For example, could it be that the big bad pumpkin really only wanted to borrow a stick of cinnamon for his Apple Cider (this could remind girls to be friendly and helpful).

Activity #5 Follow The Leader (page 25 of Try It book – Dancersize)

Crank up the music and start dancin’, Copy Cat Dancin’ that is.  The girls and leaders can all make a circle.  The leader will start the game by dancing to the music and then ask the girls to “Copy Cat”.  After the leader has gotten the ball rolling allow one of the girls to show a new move, and encourage the other Brownies to “copy cat”.  Do this until all girls have had a turn.

Fitting These Activities Into The Meeting

While the Brownies might enjoy a day of total partying and fun it is important to maintain a regular format for every meeting.  You should organize your meetings in the way that works best for you, but our example might be a good place to start.  These activities should fit into the “activity” and “snack” portions of the meeting.  It is good to allow about 15 minutes for each individual activity (with the exception of dress up, which could take less), that would make this part of meeting last about 45 minutes.  Always remember to allow a few extra minutes as you transition from one activity to the next.

Have fun, and don’t forget to celebrate the accompishments of your Girls!!

Jennifer and Jill