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6th Grade: Eurythmy

When the sixth grade students study geometry in morning lesson, they begin to form metal images of the geometric forms. During eurythmy lessons we create these forms in movement. As a game each individual student steps to several rhythms throughout the room until the music stops, and then they are asked to create together a geometric form, for example, a circle with a radius or with a diameter, or an equatorial triangle, or parallel lines of equal sides, or perpendicular lines. They enjoy seeing how quickly they can work together to create such spatial forms, and this exercise builds team-building skills.

When I asked Ms. Hart’s students the exact number of people needed to form an octagon, only a few hands were raised until I asked them to think of the legs of the octopus. A few of the newer students exclaimed, “I can see the octagon!” Then I asked them to picture it within a square. This is the form that we created together.

It took them some time for them to see that each corner had three people standing in a triangle. The four students on the outer square were called the captains of each corner of three students. They stepped an anapest rhythm within the triangles to begin. Then the four captains came into the octagon and back out again. The students enjoyed facing an opponent and charging at each other, in the form of the square (for the outer form) and two rectangles within the octagon. They learned this quickly. It is a pedagogical exercise to create social harmony.

When you view the video of their work, you will see the students moving this pedagogical form to the first three verses of “A Song to Mithras” by Rudyard Kipling, which is about the Roman experience.