1st Grade Earth Science and Dance Integration: Practical Application
After sitting down learning about weather take a moment to get moving. Incorporating creative movement into a weather lesson is a creative way to engage students and give them a physical approach to learning. The Stormy Sitting can be used as a tool to addresses the California State Standards for 1st grade Earth Science requirements by addressing the vocabulary used in the Earth Science standards ("Science content standards," 2009). Stormy Sitting also addresses the California State Standards for 1st grade Dance 1.1 “Demonstrate the ability to vary control and direct force/energy used in basic locomotor and axial movements” 2.5 “Imitate simple movement patterns”, 5.1 “Demonstrate curricular concepts through dance”, 5.2 “Give examples of how dance relates to other subjects” (Grade one visual, 2012). Stormy Sitting is an activity that incorporates movement and weather that can be done either sitting down in a chair or sitting down on the floor. This is a perfect activity that uses little space and is easily adaptable to any classroom needs. Teachers can lead students through the entire storm or just a few elements. Stormy Straddle is a great way to easily integrate dance into a weather lesson.
Sitting on the floor the children will make thunder, lightning, rain, wind, a tornado, the sun and create a rainbow with their bodies.
1. Thunder- Start by drumming your hands on the ground 8-10 times to make the a thunder sound.
2. Lightning- Raise arms above head stretching as high as possible to clap hands together 8-10 times to make a lightning sound.
3. Repeat the thunder and lightning again 2-3 times.
4. Rain- Reaching arms as high above as possible wiggle fingers like little rain drops that fall from the sky down to the ground. Repeat the rain 2-3 times.
5. Wind- As the wind comes into the storm twist side to side and incorporate the arms to accentuate the twisting and create wind. Making a ‘swoosh’ sound is a fun way to enhance the wind. Repeat the wind motion again 2-3 times.
6. Tornado- Use the momentum of the wind to whip around making a full circle on the ground with your body.
7. Sun- Create a sun with arms above your head.
8. Rainbow- Stretching arms side to side make an imaginary rainbow in the sky. One at a time each child can choose a color to “paint” into the rainbow.
*Added Bonus- After the tornado you can add in the trees crashing down. Chop arms back and forth on stomach gently to pretend to chop down your torso as the tree. You say, “The trees go timber”. Take arms up to the sky and let them crash down to the ground stretching forward saying “Crash!”.
Modified Version- Stormy Straddle can also be done sitting down in a chair. For the Tornado stand up from the chair and turn around in a circle creating a Tornado.
Across the Floor or Around the Room
This improvisation activity addresses the California state standards for 1st grade earth science under section 3b. “Students know that the weather changes from day to day but that trends in temperature or of rain (or snow) tend to be predictable during a season.” ("Science content standards," 2009). This activity also addresses the California state standards for 1st grade dance 1.1 “Demonstrate the ability to vary control and direct force/energy used in basic locomotor and axial movements” and 2.1 “Use improvisation to discover movements in response to a specific movement problem” (Grade one visual, 2012).
Exploring how the elements of weather translate into movement using the following weather conditions and seasons to inspire the children’s movement improvisation. Have the dancers incorporate different qualities of movements into their weather improvisation by dancing across the floor or around the classroom using pre-taught weather vocabulary words.
Weather and Seasons-
-Hail -Wind -Snow -Rain -Tornado -Thunder -Lightning -Hurricane -Clouds -Earthquake -Volcano
-Wildfire -Summer -Spring -Winter -Fall
Qualities of Movement-
-Big -Small -Low -Heavy -Light -Turning -Jumping -Curved Lines -Straight Lines -High -Quick -Slow
Hail can be found during the winter season. Hail has both quick and jumping qualities of movement. Can you show me with movement what hail looks like?
*Added Bonus- Once students become familiar with the activity it can easily be done during transition times through out the day. Example- After lining up from recess students can walk soft and quietly like the wind back to their classroom.
Weather Dance Project
The Weather Dance Project is a kinesthetic approach to learning about weather conditions and the seasons. The project address effectively both the California state standards for 1st grade science as well as dance. The Weather Dance Project is an extension of Activity #2- Across the Floor and Around the Room and also addresses state standards for science 3b, as well as, state standards for dance 1.1 and 2.1. In addition, the Weather Dance Project also encompasses state standards for dance 2.3 “Create a short movement sequence with a beginning, middle, and an end”, 2.7 “Perform improvised movement ideas for peers”, 2.8 “Work with others in a group to solve a specific dance problem”,4.1 “Use basic dance vocabulary to identify and describe a dance observed or performed“5.1 “Demonstrate curricular concepts through dance” (Grade one visual, 2012).
Using what the students have learned from Activity #2- Across the Floor and Around the Room follow the steps to lead students through the process of choreographing their own Weather Dance. This is an exciting way to lead dancers through the process of true dance and science integration.
1. Break the class up into pairs.
2. Each pair is given a season to work with.
3.The pair is then to decide what weather conditions are appropriate to the season that they were given and choose 1-3 different conditions to explore.
4. After choosing the weather condition the pair must choose the qualities of movement that best represent their chosen weather conditions.
5. Using the improvisation from Activity #2- Across the Floor and Around the Room as inspiration the pair must choreograph a movement sequence that most accurately portrays their season.
6. Have each pair perform their choreography to the rest of the class. Have the audience try and guess which season the performers were portraying.
*Added Bonus- For the more advance students use the worksheet to further enhance the project.
Grade one visual and performing arts: Dance content standards. (2012, April 17). Retrieved from
Science content standards for california public schools kindergarten through grade twelve. (2009, June 11). 1st Grade Earth Science and Dance Integration: Practical Application.