Learning Description

These activities will allow students to discover the concepts of geometry through shape exploration and the creation of choreographic sequences.


Learning Targets


Download PDF of this Lesson

"I Can" Statements

“I Can…”

  • I can identify shapes that a dancer makes when performing movements. 
  • I can copy the movements of a dancer to make shapes using my own body. 
  • I can perform movements so that other people can see shapes in my body when I dance.

Essential Questions

  • How can I create shapes by moving my body?


Georgia Standards

Curriculum Standards


MGSEK.G.2 Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.

MGSEK.G.3 Identify shapes as two-dimensional (lying in a plane, “flat”) or three-dimensional (“solid”).

MGSEK.G.4 Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/“corners”) and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).

MGSEK.G.5 Model shapes in the world by building shapes from components (e.g., sticks and clay balls) and drawing shapes.

Grade 1:

MGSE1.G.1 Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.

MGSE1.G.2 Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, half-circles, and quarter-circles) or three-dimensional shapes (cubes, right rectangular prisms, right circular cones, and right circular cylinders) to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape. This is important for the future development of spatial relations which later connects to developing understanding of area, volume, and fractions.

Arts Standards


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

ESDK.PR.1 Identify and demonstrate movement elements, skills, and terminology in


ESDK.PR.2 Understand and model dance etiquette as a classroom participant, performer,

and observer.

ESDK.PR.3 Recognize the relationship between human anatomy and movement.

  1. Identify basic body parts and how they move.

Dance Georgia Standards of Excellence

ESDK.PR.4 Understand and apply music concepts to dance.

ESDK.RE.1 Demonstrate critical and creative thinking in dance.

Grade 1:

ESD1.CR.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the choreographic process.

ESD1.CR.2 Demonstrate an understanding of dance as a form of communication.

ESD1.PR.1 Identify and demonstrate movement elements, skills, and terminology in dance

ESD1.PR.4 Understand and apply music concepts to dance.

ESD1.RE.1 Demonstrate critical and creative thinking in dance.


South Carolina Standards

Curriculum Standards


K.G.2 Identify and describe a given shape and shapes of objects in everyday situations to include two-dimensional shapes (i.e., triangle, square, rectangle, hexagon, and circle) and three-dimensional shapes (i.e., cone, cube, cylinder, and sphere).

K.G.3 Classify shapes as two-dimensional/flat or three-dimensional/solid and explain the reasoning used.

K.G.4 Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes of different sizes and orientations using informal language.

Grade 1:

1.G.1 Distinguish between a two-dimensional shape’s defining (e.g., number of sides) and non-defining attributes (e.g., color).

1.G.2 Combine two-dimensional shapes (i.e., square, rectangle, triangle, hexagon, rhombus, and trapezoid) or three-dimensional shapes (i.e., cube, rectangular prism, cone, and cylinder) in more than one way to form a composite shape.

1.G.3 Partition two-dimensional shapes (i.e., square, rectangle, circle) into two or four equal parts.

1.G.4 Identify and name two-dimensional shapes (i.e., square, rectangle, triangle,

hexagon, rhombus, trapezoid, and circle).

Arts Standards

Anchor Standard 1: I can use movement exploration to discover and create artistic ideas and works.

Anchor Standard 2: I can choreograph a dance

Anchor Standard 3: I can perform movements using the dance elements. 

Anchor Standard 5: I can describe, analyze, and evaluate a dance.

Anchor Standard 7: I can relate dance to other arts disciplines, content areas, and careers.


Key Vocabulary

Content Vocabulary

Curved Shape - Shape with no angles or vertices. 

Angular Shape - Shape with one or more angles.

Two-dimensional - A flat figure or shape that does not have any thickness.

Three-dimensional - A figure or shape that has length, width, and depth.

Position - The place where something or someone is located.

Arts Vocabulary

Choreographer - A person who creates dances.

Beat - Basic unit of musical time; can be heard as a regular pulse underlying music.

Pathway - Patterns created in the air or on the floor by the body or body parts, as a dancer moves in and through space. 

Locomotor - Movements that travel through space. 

Non-locomotor - A movement that does not travel through space.



  • Music recordings
  • Method of playing the recordings including speaker, Bluetooth, HDMI, mp3 
  • Printed images of shapes 
  • Projector (to show images of shapes if they are not printed)


Instructional Design

Opening/Activating Strategy

  • Project a selection of dance photos, and ask students to name shapes that they see in the photos.
  • Warm-up with students for approximately three minutes.
  • During dance warm-up, use movements that convey shapes that can be identified using mathematical vocabulary, i.e., circle, square, curved, angular.
  • Use a handle question to prompt students to look for shapes as they dance and then name them when the warm up is completed.


Work Session


  • Discuss and explore the concepts of curved and angular shapes, as well as pathways. 
  • Identify shapes like circle, square, oval, or triangle as curved or angular. 
  • Divide students into groups and have them create “shape dances” in which the pathways traveled and shapes created correspond to an assigned shape. Students will then perform their “shape dances” for the class. 
  • During the performances, the audience will identify shapes presented with a rationale to substantiate their answers.


Closing Reflection

  • Ask students to name the body parts they used to create shapes.
  • Ask students why they chose the shapes that they selected to show with movement.
  • Ask students to describe the connection between math and dance that they experienced in this lesson.
  • Ask students to describe what a choreographer does.
  • Ask students to explain how they worked as choreographers during this lesson.




  • Students perform/move to a steady beat. 
  • Students’ dances match shape criteria appropriately. 
  • Students identify the shapes being performed.



  • Students identify shapes that dancers, including their peers, make when moving their bodies.
  • Students create shapes using their own movements, including pathways.
  • Students create and remember a short choreography.
  • Students perform choreography clearly showing shapes in movement.
  • Students move to the beat of a musical rhythm.




  • Ask students to dance to a different song with a different or faster/slower beat. 
  • Ask students to turn 2D shapes into 3D shapes or visa-versa. 
  • Ask students to create shapes in pairs of students, by using pathways, levels, and partner relationships. 
  • Ask students to partition two-dimensional shapes into two or four equal parts and then modify their dances accordingly to reflect the partitions. 

Remediation: Ask students to name, describe, and demonstrate their shapes.


Classroom Tips:  Clear desks to have an open space and be tolerant of noise and excitement- it is “working noise!” 

*This integrated lesson provides differentiated ideas and activities for educators that are aligned to a sampling of standards. Standards referenced at the time of publishing may differ based on each state’s adoption of new standards.

 Ideas contributed and updated by: Melissa Dittmar-Joy and Julie Galle Baggenstoss

 Revised and copyright:  August 2022 @ ArtsNOW