Puzzling Through Math


Math and Dance

  • 30-45 Minutes


Lesson Overview:

Provide students with a word problem that uses expressions with letters as substitutes for numbers. Give them 5 minutes to work through the problem on their own using whatever device works best for them.

Allow students to turn and talk to their peers about their solutions for 3 minutes. They can use this opportunity to compare solutions or for help in solving the expression if they struggled on their own. No teacher assistance may be provided.


Step 1: As a class, share out the solutions for the expression, as well as the methods used to solve for them. For each solution, ask students to think about a way each step could be shown through a movement. Then, string together the movements to create a movement solution sequence. Explore a variety of uses of line, shape and space in their movements.

Step 2: Engage students in the Puzzle Cube Strategy. Provide each group with a new math expression using letters as substitutes for numbers. Each group is also presented with a type of dance element, such as line, shape, space or energy. They must solve the expression and present their solution using only the element they have been assigned in a step-by-step sequence.



Have students create their own word problem using a dance sequence of movements. When they present their sequenced expression, the rest of the students in the class must solve the equation and present their answers as a related dance movement (ie: if zig zag lines were used in the expression, zig zag lines should also be used in the solution)