Patterns of the Universe Lesson

By | 2017-11-16T13:05:48+00:00 November 10th, 2016|

How many times have you said, “must be a full moon!” based on the behaviors you’re seeing in class?  That just goes to show you the power of the patterns of the universe.  We’re exploring this concept in depth with some of our youngest learners in this Kindergarten/1st grade STEAM creative movement lesson plan.



In this Lesson…

This creative movement lesson plan asks students to observe, explore and create various dance patterns based upon the movement appearance of the sun and moon in the sky.  We ask students to be curious and to pay attention to how the sun and moon looks in the sky, based on the time of day.  Then, we ask them if what they see is always the same or if it is different.  This helps to introduce the concept of moon phases without going way over their heads.

Then, we explore the different levels that dancers use when they create movement patterns: low, medium and high.  We connect these to the movement patterns we just saw with the sun and moon – how do these movement patterns show low, medium and high levels?

Finally, we pull everything together by creating group dance sequences that represent either the movement of the sun or the movement of the moon.  After each group has performed their movements (using the 3 different levels), a sun and a moon group are paired together to create a single dance that showcases the patterns of the sky.

Extension Opportunities

There are so many ways to extend or to modify this creative movement lesson plan to meet the needs of your learners.  This acts as a great springboard to learning the moon phases, as well as how the rotation of the earth effects the shapes of what we see.  You could also use this as a way to explore eclipses and other anomalies in the sky, as well as the difference between the sun, moon and other stars.

Additionally, this could be extended through visual art with the exploration of shape, line and color or through the eyes of master artists like Van Gogh.  Music could also be integrated into sun and moon lesson plans by way of high, medium and low sounds to make a musical composition of the sky.

And don’t forget…you can find all of our arts integration and STEAM lessons over on our Lessons Page!

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Susan Riley is the founder and President of She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.

Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.

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