Dances With Water


accelerator membership

Almost any science concept can be used as a springboard for dance composition.  Anything from chemical reactions to space systems can be used as stimuli for creating movement material.  The best part is, by getting students up and moving the content will be retained and recalled in greater detail as their muscle memory kicks into high gear!

Skeletal and Muscular Systems

This is one of those areas where there is not a concrete Next Gen standard however, students must have the foundational knowledge in order to demonstrate proficiency of the Next Gen standards.
When introducing the systems of the body, why not use the body?  Assess students ability to identify various parts of the skeletal or muscular systems by initiating movement.


With all students standing, call out a section of the system (scapula, bicep, femur, gastrocnemius)  students must initiate movement by moving that particular part.  Continue adding to their movement phrases by calling out new parts.  This will allow students to memorize parts of the body through movement.  This can also be done as an across the floor component.  Have students begin on one side of the room and move across the floor leading with the section of the body you call out.


This can also be done in partners.  Have one partner initiate movement by touch and the other move that section of the body creating a movement phrase.  You can have students annotate their phrase by writing down the skeletal or muscular parts they plan to use, and then build a phrase by initiating movement from each of the parts.  You can assess their understanding by following their written annotations while watching their movement phrases.

The following is a lesson plan created in partnership with a science teacher.

Begin with students exploring the hydrologic cycle and the process by which water cycles through the earth.

Then, have students discuss the various symbols that can be used to represent each part of the cycle.

Lesson Process:

Step 1:  Have students create symbols for each of the stages of the hydrologic cycle: evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, runoff, and infiltration.

Step 2: Using the symbols as inspiration, create movement phrases that encompass each symbol and the action occurring at each stage, while using the location in which the process occurs as motivation for the levels used for the phrase.

Step 3: Put the phrases together to compose a full sequence of movement, taking into account the tempo used in each stage of the cycle. The order can be altered to check for understanding, for example, place the phrases in the correct order of the water cycle process, place the phrases in reverse order, mix the phrases then repeat them in the correct order, etc)

Time Required:
30-45 minutes

Materials List:

  • Water/hydrologic cycle
  • Chart Paper
  • Markers
  • 4×4 cards out of cardstock


Hypothesis & Critique.

While fellow students are watching the water dance, have them hypothesize the order that the composers presented the hydrologic cycle, including a rationale that justifies their hypothesis.