Circuitry & Dance

Program Description

This program was originally a 6-day unit on circuitry and dance. Because of Covid-19, it was adjusted to fit a virtual audience. Students looked at the elements of dance through the concept of a simple circuit.


Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Explain how a circuit works.
  • Explain the elements of a circuit and how they work together.
  • Relate the elements of a circuit to dance elements.
  • Communicate a message through choreography and movement.

Essential Questions

  • How are circuits & choreography related?
  • How can I use movement to illustrate the concept of a simple circuit?

Curriculum Standards

S5P2. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to investigate electricity.
b. Design a complete, simple electric circuit, and explain all necessary components.
c. Plan and carry out investigations on common materials to determine if they are insulators or conductors of electricity.

S8P2. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the law of conservation of energy to develop arguments that energy can transform from one form to another within a system.
b. Plan and carry out an investigation to explain the transformation between kinetic and potential energy within a system (e.g., roller coasters, pendulums, rubber bands, etc.).
d. Plan and carry out investigations on the effects of heat transfer on molecular motion as it relates to the collision of atoms (conduction), through space (radiation), or in currents in a liquid or a gas (convection).


Arts Standards

ESD4.CR.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the choreographic process. 


  1. Explore a variety of choreographic structures, forms, and designs (e.g. AB, ABA, canon, call-response, narrative, complementary/contrasting shapes, symmetry).
  2. Demonstrate proper dance technique while performing choreography.

Implement the use of props within choreography.


ESD4.CR.2 Demonstrate an understanding of dance as a form of communication.


a. Use movement to express an idea or feeling.

b. Understand how theatrical elements (e.g. costuming, lighting) contribute to the meaning of dance.

Content Vocabulary

  • Source: A supply of moving electrons
  • Voltage: electromotive force or potential difference expressed in volts.
  • Resistance: A physical property of materials. If a material has a high resistance, it opposes the passage of a steady electric current. The lower the resistance, the easier it is to force electrons to leave atoms and move through the material.
  • Load: A component that consumes power supplied by a power source.
  • Current:  the time rate of flow of electric charge
  • Wire: filament made of flexible metal
  • Conductor: creates a pathway for electrons
  • Insulator:  prevents the flow of electrons
  • Pathway: a path, course, route, or way for an electrical current to flow

Arts Vocabulary

  • Level: one of the aspects of movement (high, middle, low)
  • Pathway: designs traced on the floor or through the air as a dancer moves through space.
  • Sustained Movement: smooth and unaccented.
  • Suspended Movement: occurs in a moment of resistance to gravity.
  • Percussive Movement: movement with sharp starts and stops.
  • Vibratory Movement: movement with rapid, repeated bursts of energy.
  • Swimming Movement: movement with a repeated cycle of fall and recovery like a pendulum.
  • Locomotor: movement that travels through space.
  • Non-Locomotor: movement that does not travel through space.

Summative Assessment

  • Students create a paper circuit that works using series circuit concepts.
  • Students create a wearable circuit using the LilyPad Arduinos and conductive thread.
  • Students create choreography that demonstrates the concept of energy traveling through a circuit


  • LEDs
  • Copper Tape
  • Paper (card stock*, copy paper, construction paper)
  • Coin Cell Batteries (one per person)
  • Conductive Thread
  • Lilypad LEDs
  • Felt
  • Thread
  • Sewing Needles
  • Battery holders
  • Makey Makeys


Visual Arts Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

Each day we began our class with a 15-minute dance-inspired warm-up exercise. The purpose of this activating strategy is to get their heart rates up and have them working with some of the dance skills we will be using throughout the program.


Visual Arts Main Activity



Day 1:

  • Warm up
  • Group discussions “What is a circuit”
    • This discussion focused on a simple circuit (switch, wire, power source, load)
  • Group tested out ideas of what each element would look like as a movement.
  • Group discussed Alternating Currents vs Direct Current.
  • Group created a circuit movement inspired by an Alternating Current Circuit.  Each element in the circuit was expressed through movement and put together to form simple choreography.
  • STEM Connection
    • Students created “Paper Circuits” using copper tape, an LED, and a coin cell battery. This demonstrated the simple circuit we learned about.


Day 2:

  • Warm up
  • Group review of “What is a circuit”
  • Students performed group choreography illustrating AC created the previous day.
  • Group discussed Source, Voltage, Resistance, and Load.
  • Each student created a movement to represent each of these vocabulary words.
  • Students taught each other their movements.
  • Students were assigned to practice overnight.
  • STEM Connection
    • Students used various objects to explore with Makey Makeys.



Day 3:

  • Warm up
  • Group review of “What is a circuit” and shared what they created the day before.
  • Teacher put the choreography together and students created and practiced a dance to illustrate the power of circuitry.
  • Students used an Electric Circuit toy to create a human circuit as part of their choreography.
  • Students listened to various songs to choose the music that best related to their choreography.
  • STEM Connection
    • Students learned about wearable circuits and began working on their own design.


Day 4 (Online):

  • Warm up/ Introduce specific dance movement (~30 minutes) (Clip)
  • Group review of circuitry vocabulary.
  • Students were given 5 minutes to create a new movement for their circuit vocabulary.
  • Students shared out.
  • Group review of what was in their bags (Felt, Coin Cell Batteries (one per person), Conductive Thread, Lilypad LEDs, Felt, Thread, Sewing Needles, & Battery holders for the long-term project to create a wearable circuit)


Day 5:

  • Warm up/ Introduce specific dance movement (~30 minutes)
  • Group review of circuitry vocabulary.
  • Group review of paper circuits and Series vs Parallel circuits.
  • Students created “Positivity Posters” using the Paper Circuits
  • Students also created movements that represent the message conveyed in the Positivity Poster.
  • Demonstration of how to create a paper circuit. (Clip)


Day 6:

  • Warm up: Students are led through a warmup
  • Vocabulary review in choreography- Source, current Load current source
  • Student shared Positivity Poster and Choreography (Clip)
  • Group Performed student choreography (Clip)


Reflection Questions

  • What do we know about circuits?
  • How did our paper circuits reflect our choreography?
  • How did your positivity poster and choreography work together?


Additional Resources