Junior High

High School



Learn to dance in the rain.

In education, there are a variety of methods used to instruct and engage students and to strengthen the learning of academic concepts.
One method used in Davis School District is dance integration.  Using movement and dance I teach concepts that are part of the students academic requirements as found in the DESK standards.

Dance Integration

My name I Norma Zaugg and I am the Dance Integration Specialist for Davis School District.  I work with teachers in the district and show them how they can add dance integration into their curriculum.  Each lesson is designed to cover the standards that your students are required to learn and gets students moving. 

I am based at Stewart Elementary, but have a few spots available to come and work with other teachers in the district.   If you are interested in having me come to your school so that you can see how dance integration works send me an e-mail. 

I only have a few spots available so please message me early in the school year to get on my schedule. 


Simple Ideas you can use in your classroom to integrate dance

Language Arts


Reading Standard 1.

When teaching that names always begin with a capital letter.  Let children explore the same concept using their bodies.  The first child needs to make a standing shape to represent a capital letter, while the other children make squatting shapes to represent the lower case letters in the name.

You can place the kids into small groups based on the number of letters in their name.  Have them repeat this with each of the different names for practice. 


Grade 1

Reading: Literature Standard 4
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

Have students identify words or phrases in a story that suggest feelings.  Instead of having them tell you what the words are have them dance or act out what feelings are associated with that phrase with their body.

Grade 2

Reading: Literature Standard 4
Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.

Regular beat: Turn on some music and have kids walk to the regular beat in the song.

Alliteration: Have students create a movement or shape that they can use each and every time they see alliteration in a poem.

A good cook could cook as much cookies as a good cook who could cook cookies.

Grade 3

Reading: Foundational Skills Standard 3.b.
Decode words with common Latin suffixes.

Let students create body movements to represent the meanings of different suffixes.


-FUL means "full of" (Students create a movement that represents "full of" to them.  Each time the suffix is used have them do the movement with it)

-LESS means "without" (Students create a movement that represents "without" to them.  Each time the suffix is used have them do the movement with it)


Grade 4

Reading: Informational Text Standard 6
Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.

Divide students into small groups and give them 2 different versions of the same fairy tale (Three Little Pigs).  Have each group dance the story that they were given. After they have created and performed their dances for each other compare and contrast the differences.  

Grade 5

Reading: Informational Text Standard 9
Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Divide students into small groups have them use two different sources to find out and create a dance about a certain topic. Have groups perform for each other.  Then have them speak about their dance and how it represented the information correctly.  

Grade 6

Writing Standard 3 c.
Write narratives:
Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.

Have students create a series of movements that require transitions.  Example: From standing to laying to standing again.  After they create their movement have them write about how they transitioned from one pose to the next.  Teach them about transition words. 

Tell the students that now they are only allowed to move based upon what they wrote down.  Read it aloud and have students dance the transitions according to their words. If they were unable to do it successfully have them revise their writing and try again. m




Counting and Cardinality Standard K.CC.2.

Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).

Divide the number of students in your class into 2 groups.  (If you have 22 students that would make 2 groups of 11) Give each student a card they can place around their neck with a number 0-11 and have them memorize what number they represent.

When their number is called they need to jump up and say their number.  Practice this once with the kids starting at 1.  Teach them that now they are going to count up from whatever number you call out first and they need ti jump and say their number while doing this activity.

To add variety do this over and over again and change the movement.  You can have them squat when their number is called, them count up. 

They can also clap, stretch, march, touch their toes.

Grade 1


Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions.

Instead of just doing this on paper or with manipulatives you can have students do this with their bodies. 

Give students a choice of 4 moves (hopping, marching, rolling arms, shuffling)

Use the terms above (adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, an comparing) in the following ways.

Have students go to a certain destination when you say these phrases:

Hopping added to rolling arms (Ask questions- How many kids were there to begin with?  How many did we add?)

Shuffling take away kids with blonde hair.

Put together marching and rolling arms (How many kids do we have)

Come up with as many different phrases as you can think of to give kids extra practice.

You can take this a step farther and have students write the problem on a little white board to see if they get the correct answer

Grade 2


Standard 2.OA.3
Determine whether a group of objects (up to 20) has an odd or even number of members, (for example, by pairing objects or counting them by twos). Write an equation to express an even number as a sum of two equal addends.

Teach students some basic square dance moves.


Two lines of dancers face each other and find a partner.


This is when a hand from one dancer comes together with the hand of another dancer. When this grasp is broken, the handhold is over.

When the music stops have them walk around the classroom randomly.  Teacher calls out random patterns such as shirt color, hair color, eye color.  Example: blue shirts and red shirts, If students do not have that trait they move aside and watch.   Other students move to center to find a partner, the music starts and they need to do one handhold.

Teacher Prompts:

Was the number even or odd? How do we know (Bobby didn't have a partner)

Repeat activity over and over until students get a grasp of even and odd.

Grade 3


Standard 3.OA.1
Interpret products of whole numbers, such as interpret 5 × 7 as the total number of objects in 5 groups of 7 objects each. For example, describe a context in which a total number of objects can be expressed as 5 × 7.


Show the kids the following movements to make sure they comply with the way you want it done.

March, Skip, Hop, Slide

Tell the students that you are going to turn on music and before the music stops they have to interpret different multiplication problems and figure out how they would divide into groups.  Call out one of the movements listed above(march, skip, hop, or slide) kids must form the groups before the music stops. 

To accommodate a smaller group have the students start with 3 x 7 which would be 3 groups of 7 kids.  Have any students that are extra stay on the side until the next problem appears.

Do this activity over and over again using different multiplication problems.


Grade 4


Standard 4.NBT.4
Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.

As a class create movements to represent the place value of ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands.

Have students complete the problem using the standard algorithm, but have them show the answer to the class using their bodies.

If squatting low represents the ones place, the child will have to bounce in the squatting position to represent how many ones they have.  This applies to all of the different movements that are created. 

Grade 5


Standard 5.NBT.1
Recognize that in a multi-digit number, a digit in one place represents 10 times as much as it represents in the place to its right and 1/10 of what it represents in the place to its left.

To allow students to understand this concept on a physical level give them the following movements and show them how you want them done (march, hop, skip, slide)

Start with a simple number to show this concept.  Lets try the number 10.  Have one student represent the tens spot and one represent the ones spot.  Explain that is we are just dealing with ones, the person in the ones spot has to jump 10 times, however if we are just looking at the tens spot they only have to jump once.

Divide the students into pairs and give them numbers like 20, 30, 40. Have both the tens spot and the ones spot visually show what that looks like.( Have them trade spots so one child is not having to do all the work)

Then all hunderds... if we have the number 300 what would that mean for the ones spot?  They would have to jump 300 times.  What would it mean for the tens spot?  They would have to jump 30 times.  What would it mean for the hundreds spot?  They would have to jump 3 times. 

Explain that a digit in one place represents 10 times as much as it represents in the place to its right and 1/10 of what it represents in the place to its left.  The same goes for the hundreds spot, it represents 10 times what the number in the tens spot represents)


Grade 6


Standard 6.RP.1
Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities. The following are examples of ratio language: “The ratio of wings to beaks in the bird house at the zoo was 2:1, because for every 2 wings there was 1 beak.”

Turn on music and randomly give out two different categories:

red shirt: blue shirt

Have students move into groups quickly while the music is playing.  When the music stops figure out the ratio of red shirts to blue shirts.

If you want to make the activity easier you could create cards that you could hand out to the students with different categories (animals, colors, hats, shoes) when something on their card is called up they move forward to form a ratio.

Play until students have a good concept of ratio.