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Lesson Plans for Creative Dance

Lesson Plans for Creative Dance


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    Children love to express themselves through movement—and with this great new resource, you can guide them through a range of actions and dances that will help them develop both physically and mentally.

    Lesson Plans for Creative Dance: Connecting With Literature, Arts, and Music is a resource for physical educators, classroom teachers, and dance specialists as well as a useful supplement to college level elementary education courses. Author Sally Carline has tested and refined the creative movement activities that she has prepared for educators and for preservice teachers, and she includes background material that will ground you in understanding how to best teach and incorporate movement activities in a variety of classes and settings.

    Lesson Plans for Creative Dance supplies you with
    • lesson plans that incorporate Laban movement concepts and extend children’s movement vocabulary;
    • a progression of learning that creates a rich, extended experience for students;
    • 28 dances with music for students through age 12; and
    • ways to incorporate dance with various types of literature, art, and music.
    Part I presents guidelines for assessing creative dance based on Rudolf Laban’s analysis of human movement. You learn about body, dynamic, spatial, and relationship awareness and gain insight into using rubrics to evaluate your students. You also learn how to help children warm up properly, channel their energy, and improve their footwork and rhythmic skills. Part I will help you incorporate dance with action words, action rhymes, and other poetry as well as with visuals and rhythm in a variety of settings.

    Part II offers 28 age-appropriate, ready-to-use dances that include a variety of lesson progressions as your students acquire and develop movement skills. You will be able to teach dance skills and incorporate other creative elements and concepts to give your students an understanding of the many ways in which a skill can be performed.

    Through Lesson Plans for Creative Dance, you can work on several ideas within the same lesson and continue to develop those ideas in future lessons. You can also incorporate ideas from language arts, social studies, art, music, and science to facilitate children’s learning and increase their enjoyment of various subjects.

    This lesson planner will help you take your movement education to the next level, help your students acquire skills and knowledge, and bring meaning and joy to your creative dance sessions.


    Resource for physical education, classroom, and dance teachers working with children ages 4 to 12. Reference for PETE or creative movement instructors. Text for PE, elementary education, and dance students in elementary education courses.

    Table of Contents


    Part I: Introduction to Teaching Creative Dance
    Chapter 1. Teaching and Assessing Creative Dance
    Chapter 2. Introductory Activities
    Ages 4 to 6
    Ages 5 to 7
    Ages 6 to 8
    Ages 7 to 9
    Ages 8 to 10
    Ages 9 to 11
    Ages 10 to 12

    Part II: Dances With Literature, Arts, and Rhythm
    Chapter 3. Dances With Action Words and Visual Aids
    Chapter 4. Dances With Action Rhymes
    Chapter 5. Dances With Poetry
    Chapter 6. Dances With Rhythm

    Part III: Dances With Music
    Chapter 7. Dances for Ages 4 to 6
    The Queen’s Guards
    Rice Krispies
    The Ghost

    Chapter 8. Dances for Ages 5 to 7
    When I Get to the Fairground
    The Snowstorm
    Pattern to Cure a Headache
    Peter Pan and His Shadow

    Chapter 9. Dances for Ages 6 to 8
    The Snowchildren
    The Full Moon
    The Little Chinook
    Battle of the Seasons

    Chapter 10. Dances for Ages 7 to 9
    The Archers
    The Wizards
    The Space Stealers
    The Volcano Makers

    Chapter 11. Dances for Ages 8 to 10
    The Warriors
    The Abandoned Cartwheel
    The Jesters

    Chapter 12. Dances for Ages 9 to 11
    Day O
    Skeletons and Ghouls
    The Mirage

    Chapter 13. Dances for Ages 10 to 12
    The Sheriff and the Cowboy
    The Voyage
    The Miners

    Appendix A
    Appendix B

    About the Author

    Sally Carline, MA, qualified as a teacher at I.M. March College of Physical Education in the UK and taught in secondary school before moving to Canada, where she completed her BEd and MA at the University of Alberta. She taught at the elementary school level and then as a sessional lecturer at the University of Alberta until her retirement in 2010. Sally has taught creative dance to children ages 4 through 12 since 1975 and is head of the Children’s Creative Dance Program in Edmonton. She has conducted numerous in-services and professional development seminars on creative dance and has a variety of publications in the field of dance and movement education.

    Carline has presented both nationally and internationally and has produced several dance videos focusing on both the teaching process and dance performance. She has held memberships with Dance and the Child International, the Fine Arts Association, and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.