Dance Teacher Resources
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Dance: Sharp and Smooth Energy Qualities
Learners use different qualities of movement to express themselves. In this activity on movement, students use different qualities of energy and then use their experience as an inspiration for writing poetry.
Exploring and Using Shapes to Make a Dance
Second graders use their bodies to create various shapes to make a dance when given various music and beats. For this shapes and dance lesson plan, 2nd graders create lines, curves, twists, and angles with their bodies.
Comparing Cultural Dances
All cultures express similar thoughts, feelings, and ideas. But, often times those things are expressed differently. Learners compare and contrast traditional dances from two cultures. They watch videos of each performance, stop to discuss body language and shape, and then reflect on what each dance is trying to convey. The lesson can use any two cultures but suggests the Hawaiian hula and Cambodian Aspara Dance. Note: The resource says Cambodian Aspara dance, most likely it is supposed to be the Cambodian Apsara dance.
James Wyeth: Capturing Dance
High schoolers draw portraits of a dancer. In this visual-arts lesson, students study the work of James Wyeth online. They then watch a dance performance and sketch 10 - 15 pieces depicting dancers. Five of these sketches will be selected for exhibition.
Direction in Dance
Young scholars discover the movements possible in their own body by performing dances in class. In this physical education instructional activity, students define several key terms related to dancing which will help them follow instructions. Young scholars practice dance choreography then perform their dance solo in front of classmates.
Changing Energy: Landforms and Dance
Third graders choreograph a dance to represent the changes in nature. In this dance and nature lesson plan, 3rd graders use sharp quick movements to demonstrate changes.
Flip and Flop: An Adaptation Through Dancing Echoes with Shapes and Locomotor Movement
Dancers practice echoing through dance. They listen to a story "Flip and Flop" and then are put into pairs. One partner is Flip, while the other is Flop. Flip creates a shape by dancing, and Flop, the other student, echoes that shape by dancing it out in the same way.
Jarabe Tapatio (Mexican Hat Dance)
Oh, what a fun dance to learn! In this version of the Jarabe Tapatio (Mexican Hat Dance) which comes from Missouri State University, there are a lot of steps to learn along with finger snapping and hand clapping. While this is not the official version of the traditional dance, it is a fun and active dance to learn. So check out the video and use it to teach this dance to your PE classes.
Groovy 60s Dances!
1960s dances: The Twist, The Jerk, The Swim, The Monkey, The Mashed Potato, The Watusi, The Hitchhiker, and The Boog-a-loo. Introduce your class to the dances of the 60s. Find Motown music, watch online videos that show the different dances, get your classes to experience the dances of the 60s. Maybe even have your classes organize and put on a sock hop!
What do writing and dance have in common? They both have a six-trait rubric for assessment. Just like a good story, a good dance must have a hook, beginning, middle, end, logical sequence, and a climax. Learners use a structured criterion to analyze a dance performance in detail. The discussion that follows the exercise could easily be modified to fit a lesson on assessing or analyzing a story.
Making Dances From Stories
After reading a short story, learners will create dances that show homophones and verbs. Their dance sequences involve three verbs and transition movements in between each verb. Tip: Have the class dance out the sequence of events from the story, instead of retell.
Poems That Dance
Combine the elements of dance with the actions in a poem. Learners review basic grammar, write an action-packed cinquain poem, and then choreograph a dance based on their cinquains. After the dances are done, they'll discuss the elements of writing, dance, and mood.
Dancing in 3's
This dance makes me want to just get up and start moving right now. This dance is done to the song "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins. The lesson includes not only step-by-dance step instructions but also a video. There is a lot of movement in this quick-paced dance. Show your class the video and surely they will want to learn it!
Stuck Like Glue 4 - Wall Line Dance
Heel, toe, heel, toe, grapevine, stomp. Put some basic dance steps together and get moving. Teach this 32-count series to your class and when they've got the steps down add some music. "Stuck Like Glue" by Sugarland has a great beat and is quick-paced. There is a video that teaches the steps and shows how to dance to the music. Do it all yourself or have the class watch and learn with the video.
Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Dance
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day by teaching your class how to do an Irish jig. This type of dance is very fast. Break it all down and teach each section of the dance thoroughly. There are plenty of hops, kicks, toe touches, and stomps in this jig, so it will take some time to learn. History about St. Patrick's Day and Irish dances is included to enhance the lesson plan. Don't be afraid to tackle teaching this cultural dance because there is a video that leads the way!
Great instructional activity on teaching some of the basics of square dancing. Ten basic moves are listed and described. The descriptions of these square dance moves are clearly explained. There are several pictures to show what a few of these moves look like. These basic moves will get you through most square dances. The teacher recommends using a CD titled, "The Fundamentals of Square Dance."
Move It Line Dance
The upbeat song "I Like to Move It" from the movie Madagascar is just the ticket! Get your younsters up and moving. The basic steps in this dance are the grapevine, side step, squat, back step, jumps, jumping jacks, and marching in place. There is a video included; watch the video to learn the moves yourself, and then teach them to your younsters.
Tinikling - Philippine Bamboo Dance
What is Tinikling? How is this word pronounced? Is it really a dance? Where did it originate? Is there a story about the origin of this dance? Begin this dance lesson by answering these questions. Then use the video to teach the three dance patterns: basic step, dancing step, and jumping step. Have the dancers perform the steps in combinations. Remember to reiterate the need for safety in using the bamboo poles for this dance!
Swiss Ball Square Dance
Combine square dancing and a Swiss ball. There are quite a few square dance moves and how to do them while sitting on, or carrying a Swiss ball. Teach these square dance moves to the class. Then have them work together in small groups to create their own square dance moves and sequences using the Swiss ball.
Let little dancers choreograph a dance using steps they have learned in the unit. Write the names of the dance steps that have been taught on sets of index cards. Make sure that each set of cards you create has a mix of the dance steps. You could even write out the directions on the back sides. Children can arrange the cards in order of how they want to perform the steps. A suggestion would be to have a list of 10-12 appropriate songs from which they could also choose.