Dance, Listen, Talk!

Jean Meares

Lesson Goals

With verbal prompting and teacher support, students will use key vocabulary to talk to a peer partner about their dance in up to three communication exchanges.

Students will imitate dance moves from a video and then use key vocabulary to talk to their peers to describe the types of dancing they are demonstrating. Students will take turns talking to each other and building on what was previously spoken. Students will answer questions posed by teacher.


Smartboard (or laptop and projector)
Internet access
Space to move around
“I Want U Back” Kidzbop video (on with free account)
List of key vocabulary words
Scripts and sentence starters


Students will watch the “I Want U Back” dance video on and will imitate the movements demonstrated to the best of their ability. After video, the teacher will prompt first student to ask a question and provide them with a script/sentence starter: “Blake, you were ______________ (bouncing, jumping, hopping, etc.)” if student does not fill in the blank, teacher should offer choices by pointing to vocabulary list– was he jumping or kicking? Have student repeat word or point to word they want to use. Then, the second student will be prompted by teacher with a script or sentence starter: “Yes, and I was also _____________ (spinning, kicking, lunging, etc.)”. If no response, offer choices to fill in the blank as stated above. Second student will then be prompted to say to first student, “I saw you moving your ____________ (arms, legs, feet). Then, first student will say, “Yes, I was moving my _________(arms, legs, feet) ________(fast or slow). Next, teacher will ask questions: “Treyton, what were you doing with your hands?” If no response, say “were you putting them over your heart?” “were you clapping?” (provide student with yes/no board if needed). Other questions to ask: “were you moving fast or slow?” “How did the dance make you feel?”– provide feelings communication board if you need it. Have data sheet available to assess whether your students understand this activity or not.

Differentiation Approaches

This lesson could be used in regular ed. K, 1st, or 2nd grade classes. You may or may not need the scripts and prompting. You could do the dancing in whole group, then split up into small groups and have students ask each other questions about their dances, write answers down and then reconvene as a whole group to share answers and for teacher to ask questions. You could also play different types of music and have students make up their own choreography for the dances, then compare and contrast (likes/dislikes, how different music made them dance different ways, how different music made them feel different ways).


Document on a teacher made data sheet with students names at top of sheet with rows under each name with questions such as: With verbal prompts read script to ask peer a question, with verbal prompts and scripts answer questions posed by a peer, with verbal prompts answer teacher questions, with verbal prompts explain movement skills observed, with verbal prompts state opinion of dance. Score a + if student completed each task and indicate if it was with a verbal prompt (VP), gestural prompt (GP), or a physical prompt (PP), score an X if they refused to do the task.

Follow Up and Extension Ideas

This same lesson could be done every day for a week in my class using a different gonoodle video each day, with different types of music and dancing that would encourage different types of dance, conversation, and answers. By Friday, maybe I could play just music and ask students to freestyle dance instead of imitating, leading to even more diverse conversations. Answer choices for teacher questions could change from happy/sad to calm/angry or elated/melancholy, etc., but still have similar pictures.

Additional Details

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