Learning Description

Understand the structure of pattern and sequence through the elements of dance and choreography using movements that represent geometric shapes!


Learning Targets


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"I Can" Statements

“I Can…”

  • I can recognize the difference between a pattern and a sequence in shapes and movements.

  • I can create choreography to represent a pattern or sequence.

  • I can create movements to represent geometric shapes.

Essential Questions

  • What are different ways we can represent sequence and patterns through movement?

  • How can I create choreography to represent a pattern or sequence?

  • How can I use movement to represent geometric shapes?


Georgia Standards

Curriculum Standards


K.PAR.6: Explain, extend, and create repeating patterns with a repetition, not exceeding 4 and describe patterns involving the passage of time.


K.GSR.8: Identify, describe, and compare basic shapes encountered in the environment, and form two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional figures.


Grade 1: 

1.PAR.3: Identify, describe, extend, and create repeating patterns, growing patterns, and shrinking patterns found in real-life situations.


1.GSR.4: Compose shapes, analyze the attributes of shapes, and relate their parts to the whole.





Arts Standards


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


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


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


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


ESDK.CN.3 Identify connections between dance and other areas of knowledge.


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


ESD1.CN.3 Identify connections between dance and other areas of knowledge.




South Carolina Standards

Curriculum Standards


K.ATO.6 Describe simple repeating patterns using AB, AAB, ABB, and ABC type patterns.


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). 


Grade 1:1.ATO.9 Create, extend and explain using pictures and words for: a. repeating patterns (e.g., AB, AAB, ABB, and ABC type patterns); b. growing patterns (between 2 and 4 terms/figures).


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

  • Pattern - A set of elements repeated in a predictable manner
  • Sequence - A series of elements arranged with intention and does not always follow a pattern
  • Geometric shape - A figure that is defined by mathematical properties and is measurable



Arts Vocabulary

  • Choreography - The art of composing dances and planning and arranging the movements, steps, and patterns of dancers
  • Choreographer - A person who creates dances
  • Body shapes - Forms that the entire body or body parts take when making movement




    • Music source and speakers
    • Cards printed with shapes
    • Cards printed with groups of shapes in patterns or sequences



    Instructional Design

    Opening/Activating Strategy

    • Play music with a strong beat. As a class group, lead students in a warm up that establishes the beat of the music such as marching or clapping.
    • Next, lead them in making movements that have obvious geometric qualities using vocabulary from The Elements of Dance to describe body shapes. Examples include straight lines using arms and legs, rounded shapes using arms, etc.


    Work Session

    Movement discovery

    • Show students cards with geometric shapes printed on them and ask them to move to the beat to represent the shape of the card until you show a different card. Repeat this several times until students have discovered/created several different movements.

    Establish pattern versus sequence:

    • Continue the discovery activity holding the cards up for shorter periods of time and in patterns, ABAB at first and then more complicated. Open a handle question: How am I arranging the cards? How am I arranging your dance steps?
    • Ask students to explain the arrangement of the dance steps. They should arrive at the concept of patterns.
    • Repeat two previous steps using a sequence instead of a pattern.
    • Discuss the difference between a sequence and a pattern.

    Choreographic process

    • Divide students into small groups. Give each group a card printed with a pattern or a sequence represented in shapes. Without sharing with other groups, students identify whether their card shows a pattern or sequence.
    • Students create dances based on the order of shapes on their cards and the dance movements that they discovered during previous segments of the lesson. Encourage students to use movements from the warm-up or create new movements using the movements from warm-up as inspiration.
    • Allow students time to practice their dance.


    • Peers identify whether the performing group is showing a sequence or pattern. When a pattern is performed, peers describe the pattern in terms of shapes represented by the dance movements.

    Closing Reflection

    • Groups explain why they chose certain movements to express certain shapes. 
    • Students discuss their understanding of the difference between a sequence and a pattern.



    Teachers will assess understanding through: 

    • Student engagement in collaborative discussion about movement choices and math concepts.
    • Students’ use of dance vocabulary to describe body shapes during discussion.
    • Students’ progress toward a finished choreography during collaborative group work period.





    • Students can present choreography that accurately portrays their assigned pattern or sequence. 
    • Students can recognize the difference between a pattern and a sequence in shapes and movements.
    • Students can create dance movements that represent geometric shapes.
    • Students can explain why they chose certain movements to express certain shapes.
    • Peers/audience can accurately identify the pattern or sequence expressed in peer choreography.




    • Have groups create their own patterns using movements that represent geometric shapes and lines.
    • Incorporate ELA concepts by having students use rhyming words to create a pattern (example: ABAB - Cat, fox, hat, box) and then create choreography to represent the pattern.


    • Create choreography as a whole class to the same pattern or sequence. Then, break students into groups to create their choreography to their assigned pattern or sequence.
    • Establish certain movements for shapes as a class that all students will use in their pattern or sequence choreography. Once students demonstrate mastery of the pattern or sequence using movements established as a class, allow students to create or choose their own movements for their pattern or sequence.



    • Classroom Tips: Set up chairs and tables in a circular format to maximize students’  engagement and ability to see their peers during the activity and  performance. Also establish parameters for acceptable movement choices and discuss audience  behavior/etiquette with students.
    • The Elements of Dance

    *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: Julie Galle Baggenstoss and Melissa Dittmar-Joy. Updated by Katy Betts.


    Revised and copyright:  April 2024 @ ArtsNOW