Introduction to Movement

Educational Objective:

Students will be able to explore spatial relationship, topography and Laman’s 3 movements by moving on a grid and creating topographical tableaus.


Facet of Understanding

#2 Interpretation, #3 Application, #4 Perspective


Enduring Understanding 1:

Movement and energy create more interesting characters.


Essential Question 1:

How does movement and energy affect character work?


Essential Question 2:

What differentiates gesture from topography. And how does all of this affect spatial relationship?




Giant paper, markers, masking tape for grid, board marker



Grid movement game. Create a giant grid on the floor with masking tape. Have students find a square on the grid to start. Let them face whatever way they choose. Call 2 steps forward, 1 step back, etc. Have students notice how they move around each other.
V1. If they go off grid they’re out. Have a winner
V2. Land on same square out they’re out.
V3. If they cross each other at same moment both are out.

Step 1 – Instruct students to become aware of people moving around them as they complete the grid movement game.
Step 2- Tableau work with spatial relationship. Give them a word and have them create a frozen picture with bodies.
Step 3- Introduce topography: “The landscape, floor pattern, the design we create in movement through space.” (The Viewpoints Book, Bogart and Landau. 11)
Step 4- As a class, create a topographical tableau with a movement pattern. Give them a word like circles or triangles.
Step 5 – Introduce Laman’s 3 movement energies: Buoyancy, Radiancy, Potency.
Step 6 – Have students find a square and create their own individual topography illustrating one of those 3 movement strategies.
Step 7 – Call each category and have students who chose that category perform their topography simultaneously.



Final Assessment for Lesson 1:

Informal assessment as students work in class.
Have students record the pattern of their footsteps on their own giant paper with some symbol to designate which energy they were portraying.




Bring a piece of music that portrays one of the 3 energies and create a topography/movement sequence to it. 30 seconds minimum.