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I Like to Move It, Move It - An Aesthetic Movement Unit

Most recently taught: March 2020

Teachers Pay Teachers link for the unit task sheets (Formative and Summative)

Key Concept: Change


Related Concepts: Movement, Refinement


Statement of Inquiry: Individuals can change and refine movement to express personal or cultural beliefs.


Global Context: Personal and cultural expression (creation)

Learner Profile: Open-minded (Students will be experiencing movement in a way that is new to them, or using resources they have previously not associated with aesthetic movement. I will encourage students to go in with a positive attitude)




Unit Outline

Students will explore a variety of movement types over the span of the unit. The focus will be on students being open-minded to trying movements and working to create a mini-routine each class.  We will explore the topics through teacher-led introductions to provide examples of how the elements of dance can be used. Then the students will work individually, in pairs, or small groups to create a routine putting together creative movements that show the group being synchronized and creative.


Learning Experiences

Lesson 1: Dance (individual - partner)

Lesson 2: Dance (individual - small groups)

Lesson 3: Basketball dribbling (basic skills/movements)

Lesson 4: Basketball dribbling (skills review, routine creation in small groups)

Lesson 5: Jump rope (fitness, individual rope movements)

Lesson 6: Jump rope (small group and whole class challenges)

Lesson 7: Gymnastics (balance beam, rolls, handstands, springboard jumps)

Lesson 8 - 11: Group planning

Lesson 12: Performances (Early childhood classes invited)


Formative Assessments

Teacher questioning to ensure students understand the elements of dance.

Every class students will create a mini-routine to prepare them for the summative assessment and gain experience understanding the importance of the planning phase.

Goal Setting: Students will set a goal going into each new topic. Goals can be performance-related or focused on learner profiles.


Summative Assessment

Criterion B: Planning for performance


Students will be in small groups decided based on the movement type (dance, jump rope, basketball dribbling, gymnastics) they would like to create a routine for. Each group will set goals for the planning and performance that they believe are relevant to their success. They will document the movements they want to include in their routine, making it clear what elements of dance are included.


Criterion D: Reflecting and improving performance


Students will keep a process journal to fill out as the planning stages progress discussing their interpersonal skills. (motivation, leadership, responsibility, etc) After their performance, student's will answer question on how they believe the performance and planning stages went. 


ATL’s focused on in this unit

Social - Exercise leadership and take on a variety of roles within groups


In order for students to plan for performance (Criteria B):  students will exercise leadership and take on a variety of roles within groups by taking accountability for an aspect of the planning phase, from choosing movements, sharing ideas, or recording the planning process. 

The strategy that will be explicitly taught is:

-Exercise leadership: having students discuss what makes a good leader, identifying how they can be a leader in this project. Each class students will have created a formative routine, "how did they help their group succeed each class?"

-Take on a variety of roles within groups: each group should decide on the main roles for a team member that can be changed as the planning process evolves. Roles may include recorder, original movement creator, researcher, the group leader. In formative planning earlier this unit students should have already focused on performing in these roles.

Communication - Give and receive meaningful feedback


In order for students to reflect and improve performance (Criteria D):  students will give and receive meaningful feedback by analyzing their movement performance, including the planning stages, and also recognize strengths and areas for improvement of other performances. 

The strategy that will be explicitly taught is:

-Give feedback: verbally after formative performances in the early parts of the unit, moving to answer prompts before reflecting individually on each group's summative performance.

-Receive feedback: as the unit starts students should use feedback to help performances in the following class. For the summative assessment, students will reflect on if they agree or disagree with constructive feedback, providing examples to support their response. 


Communication - Interpret and use effectively modes of non-verbal communication


Day to Day Connections: Discussing and demonstrating how students can use their bodies to move using the different elements of dance, tell a story, and show emotions.


Summative Connection: Students need to include the elements of dance in their summative routine, and can decide how to use their body to make the routine more aesthetically pleasing.


Thinking - Create original works and ideas; use existing works and ideas in new ways


Day to Day Connections: In each lesson students will be able to create their own movement routine on a variety of topics. They will be able to include movements learned in class, movements found online, or create their own works. They will be encouraged to add their own creativity to all movements.


Summative Connection: When in their summative groups, students will polish a movement routine that involves movements from class, their own ideas or movements found online.


Teacher Reflection

My older students who usually were reserved in class came out of their shells during this unit. Being able to add in moves from video games and pursue a wide range of topics helped their personal expression. My Grade 7’s, on the other hand, struggled when they were asked to work with students who were not their best friends. Next time I teach this unit I would spend more time working on social management and strategies to have them succeed.


The basketball dribbling lessons were a lot of fun. All students were engaged, seeing how aesthetic movement could be created from a physical sport, and it wasn’t just dance, was really beneficial for promoting personal expression.


The idea to have students create every class came from attending dance workshops at EARCOS 2019 Teachers Conference and was vital to the implementation of this unit. Students went into the summative understanding the expectations of planning and creating, and it allowed the students to lead the teaching more as the unit progressed. I am not a dance expert or an amazing gymnast, so seeing students increasingly volunteer to share ideas was a rewarding experience.

Thoughts, questions, concerns? Let me know on twitter @tannernickel, I am always looking for ideas and ways to improve my inquiry teaching.

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