Do your students even know what a seesaw is? I was pondering this in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep. (Thank goodness I have my blog to think about instead of worrying about landfills and taxes.) We had seesaws on playgrounds at one time, but most have disappeared…like dinosaurs…and finger plays. Your students will probably come across a seesaw in a book or cartoon if not in real life. I did the movement activity below as a brain break with my students and they loved it. Ask your students if they know what a seesaw is? Some people call a seesaw a teeter-totter. Can they make a seesaw with their body? Do the chant slowly several times with a syncopated beat. Be sure and be a little dramatic with the “boo-hoo.”
I’m a seesaw (Spread legs apart. Arms stretched out horizontal.)
In the park.
Children ride me (Right arm down to right leg and left arm in air.)
Until dark. (Left arm down to left leg and right arm in air.)
Then off the jump (Jump feet together.)
And home they run. (Run in place.)
While I stay in the park (Arms stretched out again.)
All alone…boo hoo! (Bend head sadly to right and then left.)
Have children stand like a seesaw. Explain that a seesaw is similar to the balance scale in the math center. When you put something heavy on one side, it goes down and the other side goes up. Let’s pretend you are a balance scale. If I put a brick in your right hand, what will happen? I’ll take the brick away from your right hand and put it in your left hand. What will happen now? Give other examples for children to demonstrate with their arms. Put pretend amounts of numbers in the children’s hands and have them show you with their arms. Here are 6 apples for your right hand and 3 apples for your left hand. Here are two books for your right hand and two books for your left hand…etc.
*Challenge children to construct a seesaw in the block center or with objects from a junk box.
*Look for pictures of seesaws in children’s books.