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Rhythm study with Straight, Curved and Angle Lines

  • Lesson Plan Creator: Lynne Larson
  • Grades: Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6
  • Subjects: Math
  • Part of Class: Creative Movement
  • National/State Fine Arts Standards: Create, Perform/Present, Connect, Respond
  • Tags: Creative Movement

In this lesson plan, students will explore rhythm, using shape and 3 types of lines (straight, curved and angles).  Students will work together in groups and use their counting skills while moving.

Learning Objectives/Goals

Students will explore creating and moving with straight, curved and angled lines.  Using rhythm and levels and different directions to create a sequence.

Materials Needed

A large open space, music with a strong beat that is not too fast, drum


Introduce goals for the class and expectations as well as space boundaries.


Use a count of 8 – ask students to walk for 8 counts, do jumping jacks for 8 counts, shake their whole bodies for 8 counts and then melt to the floor and roll one time and stand up by the count of 8 to begin again.  Use the same idea with 4 counts, then 2 counts and 1 count.  Try this same idea but have student select new actions to put into the 4 sections.  For example: Hop for 8 counts, Glide for 8 counts, Swim for 8 counts, and Tip Toe for 8 counts.  Then cut to 4 counts each, then 2 counts, then 1 count.


Clap and walk on the 1 of 8 counts, clap and walk on the 1 of 4 counts, clap and walk on the 1 of 2 counts, Clap and walk on the 1 of 1 count.  Line up the students in groups of 4.  Give each a number starting from one side to the other (1, 2, 3, 4).  On a drum cue, have the students sit down on the count, then stand up on their count.  Practice doing this right on the beat and not after the beat.


Use the drum for this section. Now on their beat number, have the students create a straight, curved and angle shape.  The count 1 person is the leader.  They will create a straight shape on count 1, the next person copies that shape on count 2, the next on count 3, and the final person on count 4.  Repeat with Curved shape, then with a zig-zag shape.  Then the student who is 1 will rotate to the back of the line and the whole process will begin again with a new leader.


Try this again, but with music that uses a steady beat.  Practice first clapping the beat out, then start the pattern!

Extension to the Lesson

Add levels and different facings to the pattern!  These additions will make it more challenging.

Follow Up Resources

Dance to Learn Video Lessons

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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!