Cross-Curricular Connections for
Creative Dance in Physical
April Johnson-Mozzetti Elementary Physical Education and Dance
Specialist Dayton Public School Kemp PreK-8 Elementary School
2013 National AAHPERD Convention April 24, 2013
Charlotte, North Carolina
Presentation for The National Association for Sport and Physical
Education/Council on Physical Education for Children.
Benefits of Cross-Curricular
• Makes learning holistic for children so they can
make connections from the academic classroom
to the movement experiences in dance and
physical education class.
• A holistic interdisciplinary learning environment
accelerates cognitive knowledge for student
academic achievement to improve test scores.
• Students develop learning blocks of vocabulary,
subject concepts, reading and writing skills in a
holistic learning environment.
Benefits of Cross Curricular
• Integration teaching techniques help to better
utilize the instructional process by taking a more
in depth study into all subjects by making cross
curricular connections to promote meaningful
learning experiences for all students.
• Another benefit of interdisciplinary teaching is
that students have a chance to work with
multiple sources of information, thus ensuring
they are receiving a more inclusive perspective
than they would from consulting one textbook.
(Wood, 1997)
Benefits of Cross-Curricular
• Integrated instruction also allows for authentic
assessment. (Barton & Smith, 2000)
• Integrated instruction promotes the constructivist
method of teaching where students take their
prior knowledge and expand upon it.
• The most common method of implementing
integrated interdisciplinary instruction is the
thematic unit, in which a common theme is
studied in more than one content area. (Barton &
Smith, 2000)
Benefits of Cross-Curricular
• Implementing interdisciplinary curriculum units
helps children acquire targeted concepts and
skills of various disciplines more effectively.
(Jacobs, 1991)
• Cross curricular links are crucial to learning as
learning depends on being able to make
connections between prior knowledge and
experiences and new information and
experiences. (Crown, 2006)
Benefits of Cross-Curricular
• Cross curricular learning helps develop
metacognitive learners and metacognitive
learners are able to adapt their learning to
new situations. (Crown, 2006)
• Examines the notion of integrated studies
as a way of organizing the curriculum in
schools. (Kerry, 2011)
A to Z Thematic Teaching Themes!
• Animals, Africa, balloons, beach, bugs,
color, desert, dinosaurs, elephants, fish,
forest, fossils, grass, hip-hop, ice, insects,
jump, kites, lights, mammals, machines,
newspaper, Olympics, plants, quill, rabbits,
sea, solar system, sports, trees, turtles,
umbrella, victory, water, woods, x-ray,
yarn, and zoo.
Fun at the Farm Thematic CrossCurricular Activity
Farm Language Arts CrossCurricular Connection
• Children’s Literature-Barnyard Dance
Farm Language Arts Curricular
• Teacher will read the book the “Barnyard
Dance” to students.
• Students will perform the movements from
the book.
• Teacher will list the movements from the
book on the learning board for vocabulary
Farm Word Wall
• Acre, agriculture, apple, barn, bean, bee,
bird, breed, broccoli, bucket, bull, calf,
carrot, cat, cattle, chicken, corn, crops,
cotton, cow, cucumber, dairy, dog,
donkey, duck, egg, ewe, farm, farmer,
feed, fence, field, flock, foul, food, fruit,
geese, goat, goose, grain, grow, harvest,
hay, hen, hive,
Farm Word Wall
• honey, horse, insect, irrigation, lamb, land,
lettuce, meadow, mice, milk, mouse,
mower, mulch, mule, nest, owl, pasture,
pepper, pig, plants, plow, poultry,
pumpkin, produce, rabbit, radish, rake,
ranch, rice, ripe, rooster, scarecrow,
seeds, sheep, soil, sow, soy, stable,
swine, tomato, tractor, trough, turkey,
tools, udder, vegetables, water, weeds,
wheat, and windmill.
Farm Cross-Curricular Language
• Students write about their favorite farm
animal and how they move.
• They can write about their favorite food
that is grown on the farm.
• Students can make comparisons between
different types of farm animals and those
animals who live in the jungle or at the
Farm Math Connections
• Classify the farm animals and what
purpose they serve on the farm.
• Have the students create farm math
problems such as eleven chickens are in
the barn. Seven chickens come out to eat.
How many chickens are still in the barn?
Farm Math Connections
• Classify the farm animals and what
purpose they serve on the farm.
• Have the students create farm math
problems such as eleven chickens are in
the barn. Seven chickens come out to eat.
How many chickens are still in the barn?
Farm Math Connections
• Classify the farm animals and what
purpose they serve on the farm.
• Have the students create farm math
problems such as eleven chickens are in
the barn. Seven chickens come out to eat.
How many chickens are still in the barn?
• Mature turkeys have more than 3,500
• There are 47 different breeds of sheep in
the U.S.
• Pork is the most widely eaten meat in the
• The average person consumes 584
pounds of dairy products a year.
Farm Science Connection
• Elevators in the Statue of Liberty use a
soybean-based hydraulic fluid.
• Like snowflakes, no two cows have exactly
the same pattern of spots.
• The longest recorded flight of a chicken is
13 seconds.
• Twenty-nine cuts of beef meet government
guidelines for lean.
Farm Science Connection
• The average dairy cow produces seven gallons
of milk a day, 2,100 pounds of milk a month, and
46,000 glasses of milk a year.
• Turkeys originated in North and Central
America, and evidence indicates that they have
been around for more than 10 million years.
• Agriculture employs more than 24 million
American workers (17% of the total U.S. work
• Today's American farmer feeds about 155
people worldwide. In 1960, that number was
Information taken from Farmers
Feed the US-Fun Farm Facts on
their webpage.
Farm Social Studies Connections
• Location of various farms around the local
area and state map.
• Location of various crops that the farmers
grow around different parts of the US.
• What kinds of animals are important to
• Where are the different jobs that a farmer
can do?
Farm Arts Connections
• Music-Barnyard Dance Song
• Art-Draw pictures of your favorite farm
animals and or crops.
• Dance-Country music for scatter square
and creative dance compositions.
• Theater-The Movie “Babe” is great!
Farm Creative Movement Study
• Bend, clean, climb, crawl, dig, feed, hang, plant,
plow, pull, push, ride, rise, shake, stretch, stomp,
sway, swing, twist, turn, and wash
• Across, around, backward, curved, diagonal,
fast, forward, high, low, medium, over, sideways,
slow, straight, under, through, and zigzag.
• Speed of fast, slow, accelerated, and
Farm Introductory Activity
• Make a list of the farm words that the
students are familiar with.
• Then play “Magic Farmer” with the
students using the words and or adding
new vocabulary words.
• “I am the magic farmer and I am going to
turn you into a chicken chirping and
walking in the grass!” Then the students
perform that movement.
Farm Main Lesson
• Students are in small groups and they will create
a movement sequence of fiddle country dance.
• The students will create a short cooperative
group movement sequence.
• Teacher will teach square dance moves, such as
arm swing, star, promenade, do-si-do, etc.
• Use instrumental fiddle music.
• Students can write their movement compositions
in their journals.
Farm Concluding Activity
• Creative Country Square Dance!
• The dancers come to the barnyard dance!
• Teacher starts out the dance with all dancers
performing, right arm swing, left arm swing, right
hand star, left hand star, do-si-do, heel toe left
foot, heel toe right foot, and funny legs.
• Then all groups kneel down while each partner
group performs their short country dance
• The dance will end with all dancers in the center
circle moving about and having fun!
Farm Assessment Procedures
• Can the students read and understand the
farm vocabulary off of the word wall?
• Can the students perform the axial and
locomotor skills of both the farm animals
and country dance skills?
• Can the students create safe movement
sequences alone, with a partner, and in
small and large cooperative groups?
Farm Assessment
• Have the students reflect upon their
creative dance learning experience and
write about what they have learned in their
• Teacher may use learning board to write
about what the class learned through the
dance experience.
Beach Cross-Curricular
Beach Language Arts CrossCurriculum Connections
• Children’s LiteratureBeach Babble by
Kimberley Knutson
Beach Word Wall
• Air, ball, beach, boat, breeze, bucket,
clam, conch, coral, crab, dive, fish, fishing,
Frisbee, heat, hot, kelp, lighthouse, net,
palm trees, reef, sand, sandals,
sandcastles, sea gulls, seaweed, shells,
ship, snorkel, splash, sun, surf, swim, tide,
towel, umbrella, waves, and wind.
Beach Language Arts
• Students can write about the beach.
• What are the living creatures of the
• What kind of physical activities can you do
at the beach for fun?
• What do you like about it?
Beach Math Cross-Curriculum
• Make a graph chart of the living creatures of the
beach and ocean. List the different kinds.
• Create beach word math problems. You are
swimming in the ocean for twenty minutes and
then you take a break. You get back in the
water to swim for another thirty minutes. How
many minutes did you swim in the ocean?
• Find out measurements of the water of the
beach. Is the ocean deeper than the local lake?
Compare numbers.
Beach Science Cross-Curricular
• Beaches are sloping bands of sand,
shingle or pebbles along the edge of a sea
or lake.
• Some beaches are made entirely of
broken coral or shells.
• On a steep beach, the backwash after
each wave is strong. It washes material
down the beach and so makes the beach
gentler sloping.
Beach Science Facts
• On a gently sloping beach, each wave
runs in powerfully and falls back gently.
Material gets washed up the beach,
making it steeper.
• The world’s largest pleasure beach is
Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA, over 45 km
• From House and Home Interesting Beach
Facts Webpage.
Beach Social Studies CrossCurricular Connections
• Locate the area lakes that have a beach.
• Locate the beaches in the United States.
• Talk about the Great Lakes, Atlantic
Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of
Mexico and the locations of each.
Beach Arts Cross-Curriculum
• Music-Surfing USA by Beach Boys.
• Art-Sand art and or drawings of the beach.
• Dance-Blue ocean waves, bucket pails,
beach balls, and paper fish.
• Theater-Little Mermaid by Disney
Beach Dance Creative Movement
Study Words
• Accelerate, balance, bend, climb, crawl,
dash, dart, dive, decelerate, drop, fall, fast,
float, high, lay, long, low, medium, narrow,
rise, short, sink, slow, splash, spiral, spin,
straight, stretch, strut, swim, swirl, tip-toe,
twisted, walk, whirl, wide, and wiggle.
Beach Introductory Activity
• Listen to the waves of the ocean.
• Write about what you like about the
sounds of the ocean waves.
• Do you think the waves are washing up
shells to the shore?
• Write about and perform the movement
that you would do at the beach.
Beach Cross-Curriculum Main
Lesson Activity
• Students will work in small groups and
pantomime beach movements.
• Pick some of your favorite animals and things of
the beach.
• Composition needs to have a beginning, middle,
and ending for the beach dance.
• Create your movement sequences so that others
will know what the three things are represented
in your dance.
• Students will perform their dances to the song
Surfing USA and they can use beach props.
Beach Concluding Dance Part I
• Bring together all the students who just
choreographed their small group dances using
the dance literacy words.
• Assign each group a home space on the dance
floor where they are to be located for the dance.
• You may use a cone to mark the home space to
keep students behind it until they are called out
to perform in the creative dance.
Beach Concluding Dance Part II
• All the various groups will have a home
space for the large group creative dance.
• Teacher will call out each group to perform
their creative dance choreography to the
• Each group will perform their creative
dance movement sequence
Beach Large Group Creative
Dance Under The Sea
• Students have a partner and one travels around
at a high level while other is a low level then
switch. Use fish and ocean props.
• On melody part touch foot out to side left, right,
left, right jump forward, jump backward and
swim your fish. Repeat.
• Swim your fish under big wave chute. Choose
students to be sand builders with buckets, beach
volleyball players, and surfers.
Beach Theme Assessment
• Students reflect upon their beach learning
experiences and their new knowledge through
the journal writing experience.
• They are expected to use both new vocabulary
and movement literacy terms in their writing
• What new things did they learn in the creative
dance experience?
• Teacher can use a learning board to ask the
entire class what they achieved in class today.
• Teacher will write it out for all students to see.
Sport Thematic Cross-Curricular
Sport Language Arts CrossCurriculum Connections
Summer Olympic Sport Word Wall
• archery, badminton, baseball, basketball,
boxing, canoeing, cycling, diving,
equestrian, fencing, gymnastics, handball,
hockey, judo, kayaking, marathon,
pentathlon, ping pong, rowing, sailing,
shooting, soccer, swimming, taekwondo,
tennis, track and field, triathlon, volleyball,
water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling.
Sports Word Wall
• Agility, arena, amateur, aquatics, athlete, award,
badminton, balance, ball, baseball, basketball, bowling,
catch, champion, coach, compete, competition, contest,
defend, defeat, diving, dribble, equipment, event, fan,
fitness, flexibility, football, hockey, goal, golf,
gymnasium, gymnastics, jump, judge, kick, league,
medal, muscle, opponent, pass, penalty, practice,
professional, run, soccer, score, serve, shoot, skating,
skill, stadium, striking, sportsmanship, stretching,
swimming, teamwork, track, tennis, throw, train, trophy,
tumble, victory, volleyball, and whistle.
Sport Language Arts
• Take a look at the local newspaper sports
section and list them on a chart.
• What are the sports that are in the local
• What are the nouns and verbs in the
sports stories?
• Learn new vocabulary words.
Sports Cross Curricular Math
• Take a look at the different scores in the
sports of the paper.
• What was the difference in the score to
win or lose the game?
• Look at the brackets of the teams to see
who is in first place. How many more wins
does the second and third place teams
need to get to be in the first place
Sports Cross-Curricular Science
• What are the major muscles that athletes
use when they run?
• What is the difference between aerobic
sports and anaerobic sports?
• What does it mean to cross train for a
• What do athletes eat for good diet and
Sports Social Studies Fun Facts
• Sports have the biggest television audiences,
the most popular being the summer Olympics,
World Cup Football, and Formula One racing.
• Gymnasiums were first introduced in 900 BC in
Greece where athletes practiced naked to the
accompanying music. The Olympic Games were
also played in the nude.
• Corubus, a chef, won the first ever Olympic race,
in 776 BC.
• The first contemporary Olympic Games took
place in Athens, Greece in 1896. There were
311 male contestants but no female competitors.
Sports Social Studies Fun Facts
• The most participated sport on earth is fishing.
• The sport with maximum number of spectators is
• Boxing was recognized as a legal sport in 1901.
• The first contemporary Olympic Games took
place in Athens, Greece in 1896. There were
311 male contestants but no female competitors.
Sports Social Studies Fun Facts
• MLB teams go through about 850,000 balls per season.
• About 42,000 tennis balls are used in the Wimbledon
• The longest tennis match in history took place at
Wimbledon 2010 when American, John Isner, beat
Nicolas Mahut of France in a match that lasted 11 hours
and 5 minutes. It was played over a period of 3 days for
a total of 183 games.
• A cricket ball has between 65 and 70 stitches while
every baseball has exactly 108 stitches.
• A football is made up of 32 leather pieces, held together
by 642 stitches.
Sports Cross-Curricular Social
Studies Connections
• Location of the area sport teams in our
• What kinds of sports are available for
participation in our community?
• What are the most popular sports in our country
and which ones are broadcasted on TV?
• What sports are the most popular in our world?
• Can you name at least 10 Winter and Summer
Olympic Sports?
Sports-Curricular Arts Connections
• Music- A song for sports is “Ready for
This” by 2 Unlimited.
• Art-What are the colors of the Olympic
Rings? Make Olympic Rings and Flags.
• Dance-Use playground balls, yarn balls,
bowling pins, hoops, cones, balloons,
rackets, soft bats, soccer and basketballs.
• Theater- The Movie “Miracle” is listed as a
Sport Creative Words
• Arc, balance, bend, bounce, chase, crawl, dart,
dash, dive, dodge, dribble, endurance, fall, flee,
flip, float, hang, hop, jog, jump, leap, move, play,
ran, rest, rise, run, spin, splash, stretch, strong,
sway, swim, swing, train, turn, twist, walk, and
• Levels of low, medium, and high.
• Shapes of wide, narrow, long, short, and twisted.
Sport Introductory Activity
• Locomotor Sports Athletes to Music
• Jump and then become a basketball
• Leap and then become a gymnastic
• Hop and then become a volleyball player
• Slide and then become a baseball player
Sports Main Lesson
• Small groups will choose a sport and
create dance movement composition
reflecting upon that sport.
• Use a variety of balls or playground balls,
hoops, cones, ropes, rackets, and or other
equipment props for the creative dance.
• Cooperative Creative Dance must have a
beginning, middle, and end.
Sports Concluding Activity
• All athletes getting ready for the big game day
• Each group will perform their dance and will
have a coach get them ready!
• All athletes start out the dance in a
choreographed movement sequence.
• Then each individual group will showcase their
creative composition.
• The large group creative dance will end in total
celebration of athletics with balloons and
streamers as champions in the sports!
Sports Assessment
• Students reflect upon their sports learning experiences
and their new knowledge through the journal writing
• Can the students perform the creative movements,
steps, and sequences of the cooperative dance using
the sports props?
• Do students cooperate and work together as a group?
• Do the students share ideas when choreographing their
dance sequences?
• Are the students safe, responsible, and respectful at all
times with the equipment?
Cross-Curricular Teaching
• Barton, K.C. & Smith, L.A. (September
2000). Themes or motifs? Aiming for
coherence through interdisciplinary
outlines. The Reading Teacher, 54(1), 54
– 63.
• The Importance of Cross-Curricular
Teaching 2006 Crown Copyright
• Jacobs, Heidi Dr. “The Integrative
Curriculum” Instructor September, 1991.
Cross-Curricular Teaching
• Kerry, Trevor. (2011). Cross-Curricular
Teaching in the Primary School.
Routledge, New York.
• Wood, K. (1997). Interdisciplinary
instruction: A practical guide for
elementary and middle school teachers.
Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Merrill
Dayton Public Schools
and Kemp Elementary
• Thank you to our wonderful students!
• Thank you to our wonderful staff!
• Thank you to the DPS Board of Education
for their support!

Cross-Curricular Connections for Creative Dance in