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Time, Space, and Energy for Kindergarten Dance

  • Lesson Plan Creator: Lynne Larson
  • Grades: Kindergarten
  • Subjects: Math
  • National/State Fine Arts Standards: Create, Perform/Present, Connect, Respond, Connect/Analyze
  • Tags: Creative Movement
  • Skills Addressed: Creation of Patterns

This class will focus on introducing the elements of dance (time, space and energy) to Kindergarten Students. Students will move in many different ways exploring the space around them and different ways their bodies move.

Learning Objectives/Goals

Explore the many ways our bodies move, Copy and match shapes and movements, practice locomotor movements and creating A/B patterns in movement and shape making. Recognizing the difference between personal space and shared general space. Learning the difference between moving shapes and frozen shapes.

Materials Needed

A drum and some music that is lively with a beat. A large open space.


Introduce students to the sound of the drum by playing a Listening Game, called Drum Says. (Listen for the drum beat and don't forget, the teacher might try to trick you!)

1. When I hit my drum and you hear that sound, stand up and reach your arms up high to the ceiling, then sit back down on your pockets.
2. When I hit my drum and you hear that sound, stand up and reach your arms high to the ceiling, turn around once, then sit back down on your pockets.
3. When I hit my drum and you hear that sound, stand up and reach your arms high to the ceiling, turn around once, then balance on one foot, then sit back down on your pockets.
4. This time, when I hit my drum and you hear that sound, stand up and reach your arms high to the ceiling, turn around one time, balance on one foot, then tip toe as silently as possible (I don't even want to hear your shoes make any sound) out into the space and find a spot to sit not near another kindergartener. Make sure you have space all around


With some lively music playing, have the students stand up in the spot they are sitting and do a follow along warm-up focusing on different body parts and the many ways they can move. Start with the head and move down the body to the feet and end with the entire body moving, all parts at once!


Matching game: have students sitting with eyes closed, no peeking! Make a shape, then have students open their eyes and try to match the shape you/the teacher are making. Point out different body parts for them to notice, like, are my legs bent or straight? What are my hands doing? Where am I looking? See if they can match all of these. Then, see if they can match how this shape might move...Then have them sit back down and close their eyes and try another shape match with you/teacher as the leader. After that, select students to be the leaders.


Next, explore some locomotor movements in the space. Ask the students to show you some different ways they could crawl, hop on one foot, gallop, jump, walk, slide, balance, run in slow motion, etc.

Ask students what is someone can describe what a pattern is. Then create with them an A/B pattern to perform to music in the space. For example spin/walk in a zig-zag/spin/walk in a zig-zag; or skip/clap/skip/clap. Have the students contribute to ideas. Then, divide students into partners, have them create their own A/B patterns. Describe how to work with each other: look at your partner and ask, "What do you want to put in our pattern?" Then have the other partner ask, "What do you want to put in our pattern?" Give them time to work, then show with some music all together.


Ask students to show you in movement what they enjoyed the most about the class as they line up to leave the dance space.

Extension to the Lesson

Students can also make a shape A/B pattern instead of a moving A/B pattern. This is great if you don't have a larger space, or you can combine the two and have BOTH a shape A/B pattern and a moving A/B pattern together!

Follow-up Resources

Look for other Kindergarten lesson plans on our website as a follow-up to this lesson.


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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!