High quality dance curriculum lessons, resources and activities to inspire, engage and motivate students.
Here are some ideas for creating dance education activities and lesson plans that are useful in the primary/elementary school classroom. These dance ideas are great for home schooling parents as well and may be done by teachers with a lotRead more
Dance in early childhood learning is fun and rewarding for students, teachers and for parents. Young children are made to move and are natural wigglers. Dance provides a fun movement activity while developing concentration and attentiveness. Dance activities encourage youngRead more
What are the benefits of dance in the Primary classroom?
Heather Blasdale-Clarke, internationally recognized dance historian, sees dance as a great way to learn about history in the Australian Curriculum. However the latest research confirms that it has many benefits for school students.
• promotes pupils’ holistic development, wellbeing and motivation to learn at school.
• has positive effects on learning—challenging and versatile forms of physical activity appear to be the best way to boost cognitive performance.
• combines physical activity, expression of feelings, social interaction and cultural participation.
• helps build children’s confidence and self esteem.
• develops social skills.
• has a positive effect on social interaction, group spirit and sense of empowerment in groups, especially where pupils do not have a common spoken language.
• can play a useful role in preventing mental problems and social exclusion among children and teenagers.
• Rather than individualistic competitive achievement, it focuses on cooperation and group cohesion.
• Avoids the valuation, comparisons and competitiveness connected to physical education. Such comparisons may lead to a negative perception of one’s physical competence and can reduce the motivation for movement and exercise.
• Encourages freedom of expression not available in other activities.
Dance in the classroom is an exciting and engaging way for your lessons to come to life. The easy to use free lesson plans, resources and activity ideas in Dance Teaching Ideas will support your implementation of the Arts Curriculum.
How can Dance Teaching Ideas help you in the classroom?
Here at Dance Teaching Ideas we’re passionate about supporting teachers and parents in making learning joyful, effective and inclusive.
The website was created to assist primary teachers and home-schooling parents in developing and implementing high quality, inclusive dance and Arts lessons. Classrooms, at school and at home, will benefit from the energy, joy and enriched learning that comes from engaging in the Arts.
There are complete lesson plans that you can use immediately in your classroom and articles to support you creating your own Primary teaching resources that are fun for you and your students.
Engaging with the Arts is part of a comprehensive education that raises emotionally skilled people to promote a healthy society. Children who investigate, explore and imagine, learn how to be adaptive in a constantly changing environment. In this developing machine age, personal skills take on a new-found importance. Jobs that require personal interaction skills and the human touch will be in demand.
If you’re a Primary teacher:
Dance Teaching Ideas provides ongoing support to introduce or continue with dance in your classroom. If you are just starting to connect with the Arts at an Australian curriculum level, dance is a great way to begin. With fun, physical and written activities that are easy to implement and encourage student engagement, your classroom will have the productive energy that all primary teachers love.
Dance in the classroom is not just about lifting learning energy but about providing an inclusive environment where children can be reflective through physical and emotional awareness. Calm and subtle energy that nurture mindful reflection gives children the skills to influence their physical, expressive and cognitive selves.
Developing literacy through dance
Many of the ideas for classroom activities on Dance Teaching Ideas are linked to developing skills in literacy. Students’ motivation to learn is enhanced when they are engaged in an activity that they really enjoy doing.
John Hattie, researcher and education guru, sees “skill, will, and thrill” as being crucial to encouraging a love of learning in students. Hattie asserts, “In fact, if we can increase their sense of love of learning, the thrill, we can increase their sense of self.”
However, in an increasingly outcome driven education system, where the visible and the finite is valued, the Arts nurtures qualities in children that are often difficult to define and even harder to measure. It is this ephemeral nature of the arts that often makes them take a back seat to literacy and numeracy.
Qualities associated with empathy and citizenship are developed through collaboration with others, valuing ideas above merely being right or wrong and seeing uncertainty as something to be explored rather than feared. Discussion, feedback and reflection are the tools of the artist and promote literacy at a deeper level.
The activities described in Dance Teaching Ideas enable the primary teacher to produce written and oral evidence to fulfil the demands of the achievement based, learning intention driven education system without taking away from your students’ meaningful arts experience. Because any teaching is made stronger by being agile in its own cultural environment, these teaching ideas can be adapted to your individual classroom specifically for your students.
The lessons are just shared ideas, presented as a way of solving professional quandaries and the ever-growing teaching issue of developing more and more learning resources.
If you’re a home schooling parent:
Dance Teaching Ideas for the home schooler supports approaches to implementing the Arts through collaboration with your children. It places you along side your child as a maker rather than in front of them as teacher. This creates a supported learning environment in your home and encourages children to try a range of approaches to solving the same problem.
The solutions to arts dilemmas are seldom black and white and there are often multiple answers to the same question.
Dance is a great way to learn about many areas of the curriculum and allows you to enjoy creating together.
Dance activities to do at home
The ideas for dance activities presented in the articles and in free lesson plans and resources, demonstrate how children can make meaning and learn about their world. Arts learning can be messy, elusive and unpredictable at times and Dance Teaching Ideas creates a road map to help you navigate the curriculum and its implementation.
Articles by distance educators and seasoned home schoolers support you on your dance journey and keep your children active and creative. Learning should be fun for everyone and dance can enliven your home classroom.
Recent Articles in 2021
Dance teachers have long acknowledged the power of dance to develop physical skills, promote creativity and develop children’s ideas about their place in the world. Learning through the body is intuitively part of how children play, as they jump, climb,Read more
Feedback about what children understand is central to teaching in the Primary dance classroom. In this article we explore why it is important and simple and practical ways of finding how children are experiencing the content of your dance lessons.Read more
Back in March, 2021 I wrote an article Dance Teacher Burnout and How to Avoid It and where teachers from around the world revealed their feelings of being drained and demotivated. But here is a reminder to check on whereRead more