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Activity 1: Pairs and Prepositions

Writer: Julie Cadzow

Years 2-3

Level 1

Key Competencies


The students will develop their dance skills through opportunities to explore, experiment, problem solve and reflect. They will make decisions about what, how, when and where to move, and will be encouraged work cooperatively with others. They will exercise imagination, and make links to other learning areas.

Using Language, Symbols and Texts
The students will use dance vocabulary and prepositions as texts to communicate through movement.
They will use selected body parts to spell words and to demonstrate their meaning, and will use a dice and a key as guides for movement based on dance vocabulary.

Relating to Others
The students will interact with others as a class group and will work in pairs to create short dance sequences. They will share ideas, listen to different points of view and negotiate.
Students will respond to instructions with movement, and will reflect on their own and others dance performances.

Key Words

Level; body base; prepositions: on, over, around, through, behind

Learning Goals

The students will be able to:

  1. Make still shapes on high, medium and low levels
  2. Make still shapes using different body bases
  3. Use the words on, over, around, through and behind to make a dance
  4. Recognise the use of levels and body bases in a dance
Teaching and Learning Sequence
  1. Introduction to dance vocabulary The Enormous WhiteboardOrganise the class in a line (or two lines) down the left side of the dance space The students 'write' a selected word using enormous letters on an invisible whiteboard as they move sideways across the space. (Air Pathways)
    • Use different body parts for each letter - hand, right foot, nose, left ear, shoulder, heel, hip.
    • Use two body parts at the same time to write the letters - one hand and opposite foot, one elbow and one knee.
    • Change levels after each letter.
    Spell the words level and body base.
  2. Dice Game - locomotor movement and still shapes
    Music: Beepy Boppy

    The teacher plays some lively music and the students move around the room in a manner chosen by the teacher or the students, but without touching anyone and by moving into spaces as they see them. The music stops at an appropriate time (15-20 seconds) and the students 'freeze'.

    The teacher rolls the dice and, as individuals, the students create still shapes as directed by the roll of the dice and the teacher:
    1 = levels: high, medium or low
    2 = body shape: twisted, straight, curled or angular
    3 = body base: feet and hands, bottoms and feet, hips and shoulders, one foot and two hands etc
    4 = balance: hold the balance for 8 counts, tummy button over your toes, choose where to place non-supporting leg and arms
    5 = near: very close, a short distance apart or connected
    6 = beside: shoulder-to-shoulder


    • Two or more groups with one dice each, to create a range of still shapes
    • Travel individually, but when the dice is rolled, work in pre-organised pairs or trios to make shapes together (such as a still shape on three different levels)


  3. On, over, around, through and behind Isolating body parts; awareness of dance vocabulary and prepositions: on, over, around, through and behind

    Each student is given a floor marker and is paired with a partner. The pairs place their floor markers beside each other, about ½-1 m apart.

    The teacher leads the students through exploration of the words on, over, around and through. Instructions might include:

    • Heels on one marker
    • Feet on both markers
    • Legs over one marker
    • Make a fancy still shape on the markers
    • Skip, jump, hop or slide around both markers
    • March, gallop, crawl or tip toe through the markers
    • Place your right hand/left big toe/elbow on the marker
    • Hop on and off the marker
    • Crawl, stamp, tip toe, wobble, slither, wriggle around the marker
    • Lean over the marker and balance
    • Make a low level shape beside the marker
    • Make a high level shape behind the marker

    The pairs from the above activity create a short sequence of movement using the 2 floor markers, and the words 'on', 'over', 'around', 'through' and 'behind'.

  4. Performance and reflection
    The students perform their sequence for their classmates to the music played for the dice game activity.The audience uses the oral responses cards to reflect on what they saw: body bases used and levels used.
Video Clips

These clips were captured by the Tandberg Content Server during distance dance lessons taught by video conferencing through the Ministry of Education's Virtual Learning Network. The resolution is unequal at each end of the streaming due to different broadband speeds at each location.

  • Making imaginative shapes in pairs (4.3MB)[[There was a video here, it will need to be copied manually from the old artsonline site]]
  • Preposition dance (9.3MB)[[There was a video here, it will need to be copied manually from the old artsonline site]]
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