If you look for ways to incorporate movement (and dance) into your lessons, they’ll be a fabulous change of pace from other lessons. It’s not that hard, if you think from a movement point of view. For example…
Lesson Title: Earth’s Rotation
Learning Outcome: Students will demonstrate understanding of the Earth’s rotation by performing the Rotation Dance.
UT Science Standard 1, Objective 2: Describe the movement of Earth and the moon and the apparent movement of other bodies through the sky. Describe the motions of Earth (i.e., the rotation [spinning] of Earth on its axis, the revolution [orbit] of Earth around the sun).
Grade Level: 3rdor 4th
Length of Lesson: 1-1 ½ hours
Materials: pictures of the earth, ball, music to dance to
Behavior Expectations: Participate in each activity; respond with movement instead of voices.
a. Define the various terms involved by making movements (and using pictures as appropriate):
i. Sphere (like a circle). Have students make a 3D sphere shape with your body
ii. Axis – Have students be a narrow shape reaching up and down, legs bending up and down.
iii. Planet (a large body of rock or gas that orbits the sun) – Students make a large shape. (Crossover) There are different size planets. Students show large and small planets.
iv. Earth (shaped like a sphere, or a circle) – Students draw circles with different body parts. (Crossover) Students draw a circle on a low level or a high level.
v. Tilted (The Earth’s axis is tilted or at an angle) – Students shift their weight to tilt to one side.
vi. Rotate (spinning or turning to one side on axis – the Earth rotates on its axis every 24 hours)- Student spin once in each direction. (Crossover) Some planets spin very fast and some spin slow. Students spin both fast and slow.
vii. Orbit -is the path an object takes as it moves around another object. The Earth’s orbiting pathway is spherical. Students run in a circular pathway and back to their spot.
* use the ball to show terms you might have a hard time explaining with movement.
a. Have students demonstrate the various terms as the teacher calls them out.
b. Have students form small groups. Each student chooses a movement and dances it while the other group members try to identify what term was being demonstrated.
a. Discussion: what other things rotate?
b. Discussion: what are the effects of Earth’s rotation? (seasons, day/night, etc…)
Assessment of Learning: While the teacher calls out terms, observe students to check for understanding of concepts.