3-D Shapes 

in Space 




Learner Description: 

The socio-economic level as well as the cultural heritage is extremely diverse at the school.  Many students are from upper income homes, while some are at the other end of the spectrum.  The school’s ethnic composition is 66% Caucasian, 22 % Asian, 7% Hispanic 4% Black, and less than 1% Native American.  Seattle’s Eastside offers tremendous diversity as many students are ESL (“English as a second language” such as many Russian, German, Dutch, French…) It is common to have 12 – 22 different languages spoken on any given school campus throughout the district of 23,700 students. I think the most unfortunate thing about most of the students is they live in a world where test scores are more important than fostering creativity and self-expression.   Even though our area is filled with success stories over and over with companies such as Boeing, Microsoft, and Nintendo as neighbors, parents push for the basics and have forgotten how their own companies and jobs are riding on imagination and creativity.  Washington State as well as the Lake Washington District are in support of this and have abandoned (or simply left out) the arts as part of the regular curriculum.  This lesson is geared to accommodate the various intelligence preferences (Linguistic, Logical-mathematical, Spatial, Bodily-kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, and Naturalist.)  The children seem hungry for hands-on activities.  My goal with integrating all of the arts is to provide the children with as many opportunities to explore and enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

Purpose/Vision Statement: 

To introduce children to 3-D sculpture along with the idea of creating shapes in space with their own bodies while integrating beginning movement exercises.  Students will learn to connect art terms with dance terms (space, shape, form, and line.)  Encourage concentration and body awareness, explore the body’s muscles and joints, and to teach movement skills.  Using kinesthetic movement to enhance energy and brain capacity as well as understanding of space, size, direction and level in dance is desirable. Using and understanding the terminology (elements of dance) is the major focus of this lesson. 

Learning Objectives: 

Cognitive: What inquiry or investigative competencies will be developed in the learners?  Improvisation and spontaneous thinking will occur as students experiment with directionality and variations of patterns (repetition).

Affective: What attitudinal, value, and behavioral shifts are you encouraging for your learner?  The kinesthetic experience will allow the students to open up new pathways for learning as well as developing personal organizational skills (as they organize their ideas into dance expressions.)  A better understanding of oneself as well as others will be gained through this exercise of using simple body movements to form new ideas and images.

Social: What cooperative and/ or interpersonal skills are you advocating?  Students will learn to find the perfect spot where they can move freely without interfering with others while fostering group cooperation.  Self-awareness will promote and create confidence for individual students as well as respect for others while interacting in a positive way with classmates in this group setting.

Artistic Competencies: What specific skills will be developed (elements of dance?)

Learning the element of form (SPACE: Shape, Level, Direction, Size, Place, Focus, Pathway) through body movement (BODY/ PARTS AND MOVES.)



This will be a forty-five minute lesson utilizing the space in the regular room.  Begin the lesson with some simple stretches to alleviate tension and stress and open up the pathways for learning.  Sculpture will have been a study previously encountered by the students; Calder as well as others will have been the focus of discussions; art posters and student work will be on hand to remind the students of the possibilities of form.  Doing some beginning movement exercises to acquaint the students with their own body’s capacity to move as well as levels is what will be the heart of this lesson (stretch, bend, swing, circle, fall, shake, collapse, rise, fall…) Create a chart showing the elements of dance and go over the vocabulary words that the students will use for the day so as the lesson progresses they have a clear understanding of the material they are covering.  Using Lesson One of Mary Joyce’s book First Steps in Teaching Creative Dance to Children ask the students to show you how their body works by using some of these ideas (p. 71).  To create form, the students will be doing a shape, movement, shape, sequence. Guiding Questions:  What actions does your idea suggest?  How would you move (dynamics)? What pathways would you take (space)?


Student Based Assessment:

Discuss students' arts experiences with them and listen to students' reflections on their own arts experiences.  After some practice, encourage a “museum” where dancers stop and look at each other to reflect on the lessons learned.  Constructive criticism will be used to ensure future success for each individual as well as the group. 


Lycra bags with living sculptures created by small groups; also creating group sculptures where students add on to the existing, thinking of form and space as it is being created.


































































Making an effort to increase student learning by integrating  movement will help children gain meaningful context to their lives.