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Creative Energy Photos

  • Lesson Plan Creator: Lynne Larson
  • Grades: Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3
  • Subjects: Language Arts, P.E.
  • National/State Fine Arts Standards: Create, Perform/Present, Connect

In this lesson plan for elementary grade levels 1-3 students learn about weather energy patterns through body movement.

Learning Objectives/Goals

Experience different energies in movement, isolations of the body, patterning, and use of descriptive language, Dance Element—Energy

Materials Needed

Photos of Nature, drum, music, (optional paper and pencil)


Class expectations (Good listening, following directions, be creative, be active), Space boundaries, personal boundaries, goals for class today


Students will explore isolations of body parts to create a sequence of movement traveling down the body. Begin with just movement of the head. Select a student  and have the others match how the student’s head is moving. Continue this moving down the body (shoulders, arms, torso, legs, feet), adding each isolation to the one before to create a isolation sequence.  Next add some music and add traveling to a new location in the room when a name/isolation is called out.  Encourage different levels and movement other than walking to travel. 


Show an energy photo (fireworks), ask students, without a word to show a movement or a signal that would describe the energy in the photo they saw.  Give the signal (drum beat).  Once the movement is shown, ask students for words that describe their movement and also the photo.  Repeat this experience with 2 other photos of contrasting energy, for example, clouds and ocean waves.


Divide students into pairs.  Give each group 2 different photos.  Instruct students to create movement from the energy of the photo and a shape.  Put the results from the photos into an A/B pattern. 


Students perform their patterns to music or accompaniment for each other.  Audience members have the chance to try and guess which photos were used by each group. 

Extension to the Lesson

Add pathways to the students patterns. Straight, curved and zig-zag.  Each part of the energy pattern could have a different pathway to travel the students through the space.  If there is time, students could utilize paper and pencil and draw a map of their pathways in the room.  

Follow Up Resources

Weather Photos could be a resource for the weather science unit. 

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What People are Saying

The diversity of the dancers really spoke to my students! It was great to see boys and girls dancing, and different races. The high level of engagement was so refreshing and got students excited about thecontent.
This activity was valuable because it helped students make connections between dance, rhythm, healthy lifestyles, and expression. The students were impressed by the talent of the dancers and it was motivating to them.
Opportunities for art and expression are so limited at school but so essential and valuable for all students, especially those who struggle to learn through traditional methods. My Kindergarteners have been dancing since you left!
This was so engaging. I looked around the auditorium and every student was watching. Not one person was talking or distracted
This activity is valuable to teachers and students because it gives them a creative outlet. We need movement in the classroom to engage, energize and deepen student learning.
I got great ideas on how to incorporate movement into math and science lessons.
I loved how you made movement and exercise relatable to the students. The dancers were full of energy and there was very little down time so students stayed engaged.
Our children were captivated by the performance. They listened to you and they were learning without knowing. They usually giggle when bodies are shown and talked about. But the way you presented it was so tastefully done, they now do poses and movement around the room and outside. You brokesome barriers and they took that permission and literally ran with it!