Dance Teacher Resources
Find Dance educational ideas and activities
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Sixth graders research Ancient Greek culture by acting in a play for the festival of Dionysus. In this Greek culture instructional activity, 6th graders study an ancient Greek map and the Sarcophagus Dionysus from the Walters Art Museum website. Students perform a shape movement using Greek deity symbols and study a Greek theater fact sheet. Students learn the Greek Gerenos Dance and act out a performance for the festival of Dionysus.
Students practice making music and dancing. In this early childhood lesson plan, students invent music and movements with their bodies, such as clapping and hopping, to mimic how people long ago used to attempt to "wake up the Earth." Students are also encouraged to experiment with rhythm instruments.
Students create a dance based on animal movements. In this kinesthetic lesson plan, the students will read and imitate animals in a creative way and share their dances with the group. The lesson includes a take-home activity and a math curriculum connection.
Students explore colors through storytelling and dance. For this visual arts lesson, students view the painting "Bird and Cornstalk Rug" and identify three colors. Students express how the colors make them feel through the rhythm of percussion instruments. Students also use movement to express their emotions they get from the colors.
Second graders perform mirror dancing. In this dancing lesson, 2nd graders are led in a dance warm-up and brainstorm kinds of movements they have done in dance. Students are then led through a demonstration of a mirror dance.
Fourth graders explore the language of dance and literacy. In this writing lesson students discover how writers use language and how dancers create dances. Students expand their vocabulary through generating dances and later writing about them.
Students dance and write. For this grammar lesson students act out verbs through dance. They brainstorm a list of verbs to act out. Students perform and describe their dances.
Students learn the meaning of prepositions through movement. In this dance lesson, students choreograph a piece showing that they understand the meaning of various prepositions.
Students use different qualities of movement to express themselves. In this lesson on movement, students use different qualities of energy and then use their experience as an inspiration for writing poetry.
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.
Students discover the movements possible in their own body by performing dances in class. In this physical education lesson, students define several key terms related to dancing which will help them follow instructions. Students practice dance choreography then perform their dance solo in front of classmates.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 instructional activity 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!
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.