University of Delaware

The Effects of Movement on the Speech and Communication Skills of Preschool Students

by Julie Luzier

In the preschool years, language and communication are two critical aspects of a child’s language development. Children’s motor development also corresponds with certain levels in language and some aspects of motor development have even been linked with the development of certain language developmental milestones. Since children are very active during the preschool years and expend most of their energy by moving and playing, it is predicted that creative movement when linked with certain literacy activities in an educational setting will produce beneficial results in terms of a preschooler’s literacy skills development. The speech, communication, and language project will assess the effect of creative movement on the developing literacy skills of preschoolers and will be in its experimental phase in the fall of 2011. Lesson plans have already been composed, involving the integration of basic aspects of creative dance and storytelling at a preschool level. There will be 6-8 lessons in the curriculum and the lessons are written in a way that early childhood educators will be able to understand and apply to their own classrooms. Lesson one includes pathways and colors; lesson two focuses on levels and force; lessons three and four move onto incorporating beginning, middle and end of stories and lessons five and six introduce the concepts of character, setting and plot. Pre and post testing will take place for a control and experimental group, consisting of student interviews, videotape data and a standard rubric to assess certain aspects of language and literacy competency. It is predicted that the integration of creative movement with literacy activities, will not only assist in the children’s language and literacy development, but also allow the children to gain knowledge of the basic concepts of creative dance in early childhood, while advocating for the integration of the arts in education.