Develop the Brain-Body Connection

Learning With the Whole Body

The physical realm of development refers to the ability of the brain and body to engage in life and learning, which involves activating the senses and refining fine and gross motor skills. The activities in this section reinforce developmental skills essential to learning through potentially pleasurable physical activities, including dancing, singing, acting, and drawing. Teachers can use these activities with the whole class in a relaxed and mindful way, reducing stress and improving learning readiness for every student. By observing students' performance in these activities, teachers can identify challenges and strengths, mastery of developmental indicators, emotional regulation, and the effects of stress or trauma.

The following describe arts activities that can be done in 5-10 minutes as simple rituals throughout the school day. In this way, all the art forms can be used as a type of "brain break" with a focus on nourishing essential skills and massaging mastery of developmental milestones. Keep a copy at your desk to remind you of the arts activities immediately available to you to help students regulate their brain and body connection.


The Arts Playbook

Pencil Play: Visual arts activities to support human development

Playful Moves: Dance and movement activities to support human development

Vocal Play: Music activities to support human development

People Play: Drama activities to support human development

Click here to download and print the entire "Arts Playbook" PDF.


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Click here to download and print the entire "Arts Playbook" PDF.

This content is provided to you freely by BYU Open Learning Network.

Access it online or download it at https://open.byu.edu/advancingartsleadership/develop_the_brainbody_connection.