Dance games get your students moving in an educational and enjoyable way. Dance can help students learn by getting them physically engaged, according to the Kennedy Center Arts Edge. Many dance activities are adaptable to fit different age groups and subject areas. Start with a few basic dance activities and modify them to fit your teaching needs.
Dance is a creative way for your students to retell what they read in a story. Retelling the main points of a story helps improve comprehension of the material the students read. When the kids understand the story, they are better able to reread it fluently. Instead of just saying what happened in the story, let the kids act it out in dance form. To retell the story of Goldilocks, the students might dance as if they were skipping through a forest, followed by dance moves that resemble eating porridge, sitting in chairs and falling asleep in a bed.
Reviewing information you've taught in class helps kids remember the key facts. To make the review more interesting, connect the information with dance moves. One example is a vocabulary dance. To review the meaning of vocabulary words, have the kids dance the meaning. For example, the kids might pretend to be a flower growing to show the meaning of the word "blossom" in dance. The same idea works for facts. Have the kids freeze mid-dance move to show the solid state of matter for a science review. The rhythm of dance moves can also help the kids remember facts. Have the kids do repetitive movement. They might step from side to side and clap their hands, for example. As they do the moves, have them shout out facts that you want to review.
Pass the Dance Move
This dance game requires the kids to focus on the moves and use their memories to repeat them. Do the game as a full class or in small groups. One student starts with a dance move. The next student does the first dance move and adds her own. The third student does the two previous moves and adds another. This continues around the circle. The children have to pay close attention to remember all of the previous moves. Older students can do more complicated dance moves to make the game more challenging.
This classroom dance game uses musical chairs as the inspiration. You'll need a chair for each student. You can also use markers on the floor if you don't want to use chairs. Add an educational activity to each chair or spot. For example, put a story or other written passage on each chair to work on reading. Put a math problem on a laminated piece of paper with a dry erase marker on each spot. While music plays, the kids dance around the room. When the music stops, each child goes to a chair or marker and does the educational activity on the spot.
Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.