|Music & Movement is a classroom style curriculum for children 4 to 8 years old. The purpose of this resource is to stress the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. Each lesson includes a physical and a sit down activity. The author also gives other optional activities if one of the activities cannot be done. The curriculum is consistent with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and references MyPyramid.gov often.
The curriculum includes eight lessons. The eight nutrition lessons are
- My Pyramid: I Lost My Basket
- Family Meals: In the Kitchen
- Fruits and Vegetables: Going to the Farmers Market
- Physical Activity: Wild Vines
- Farm to Table: Bread Comes to Life
- Grains Give You Energy: Tortilla – Tortilla
- Picky Eaters: Eat a Vegetable
- Physical Activity: Get Up Off the Sofa!
Each of the eight lessons is appropriate for the targeted age group. The lessons include songs and activities that the participants would be able to enjoy and understand. There are no technical nutrition terms discussed. Each lesson should take 30-60 minutes. Within each lesson the educator is guided to give a brief overview of what is to be expected and to ask the students of any prior knowledge of the topic. Also included is an evaluation for the students, so the teacher can assess what the students learned from the lesson. A SNAP-Ed Educator with just a basic understanding of nutrition can teach this lesson; there is no explaining of specific nutrients, or any complicated terms.
There is no direct parent involvement component in this program. However at the end of each lesson there is a newsletter, a referenced website or tips for parents to help their children eat healthier. Each lesson includes handouts for the SNAP-Ed Educator to distribute to the children. These handouts go with the sit down arts and crafts activity, and are ready to be copied. Each lesson also comes with a recommended recipe. Each recipe has the Nutrition Facts Panel and is compatible with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The recipes are not priced out, and some call for ingredients that may be a bit expensive. Each lesson calls for a story to be read and a music CD to be played. Both of these are included with the curriculum.
Each lesson includes a “Physical Activity” section. Although the section is called physical activity, none of the activities include moderate or vigorous intensive movement that count as aerobic activity for the children. The activities do give the students an opportunity to get away from their desk and stretch a bit. Each physical activity is paired with a specific song. Each referenced song includes the lyrics if the children want to sing along with the song. The music and lyrics are appropriate for younger children. The next part of each lesson is a “sit down” activity where the students work at their desk. An example of this type of activity is an arts and craft project where the students highlight what they did during the previous activity.
Additional materials are needed to conduct these lessons. These include crayons, food models, fresh fruits and vegetables, a music player, baskets and scissors.
This is a good curriculum for young children. It gives a basic overview of the importance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, physical activity and eating as a family. The students also prepare an arts and crafts project that they can bring home, and share with their parents what they made and learned.