Math in Motion

Heather Daughtery, Jennifer Joyner, JoAnn Biggs, Diane Gumpper

The students will classify objects by physical properties, communicate dance through choreography and understand patterns, addition and subtraction using objects. Math and Dance are addressed in this lesson as a way for students to create equations through choreography and sequences. They work well together because students are creating a dance and movement with transitions between each addition and subtraction equation.

How are the textures different and similar between each material?
What is the relationship between addition and subtraction?
How can combining different colors to create shades relate to addition and subtraction?
How can we create an image using dance movement?


Music (for dance)
T-shirt strips (different solid colors)
Tissue paper
Chart paper and markers
Paint (if wanted for extended lesson)
Already made rubric


1. Introduce properties in science (comparing and contrasting textures, colors, and shapes).
a. Show students the different materials (t-shirts, silks, tissue paper, burlap sack, etc.) and hand out two materials to however many groups of students. Give students time to discuss what they feel and see and share out for teacher to place ideas on a t-chart.
b. How are these items similar and different? Give students time to discuss with group and share out for teacher to place on chart paper.
2. Remind students what we have been learning in math this week. (addition and subtraction).
3. Tell students they will be creating a dance using the materials given to their group.
4. Once students are in their “dance space” in the classroom, have students create the first act where they will create a pattern using the materials.
5. Give students time to practice then share to class. Give students 1 minute to revise after each share.
6. Repeat steps with second act involving addition and third act involving subtraction.
7. Students will also create transitions between each act (different levels, space, direction, sound, movement)
8. Once groups are ready, have them perform their dances with teacher added music in the background.

Differentiation Approaches

1. Keep lesson hands-on kinesthetically.
2. Have students collecting the materials to help with attention.
3. Let students be helpers within the classroom.
4. Keep students talking and retelling directions.
5. Directions with visual cues.


Students will have a rubric with expectations from dance performance and will perform the dance performance involving a subtraction and addition equation.

Follow Up and Extension Ideas

Students will create a written or drawn sequence of their performance. Depending on age, students can also give a verbal explanation of their performance.

Extension ideas include using paint to mix colors and creating equations with paint mixtures after reading a piece of literature related to color and shape. Another idea includes creating a dance using shape forms (2-D and 3-D).

Additional Details

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