This is a guest post by Lesley Boatright that originally ran in June 2014. If you like what you see here, click here to read her blog, Practice Makes Perfect.
With one and a half days of school left, the days got hotter in our non-air-conditioned school, and my little ones really started to get antsy! As I was looking for ways to keep the learning going but have fun at the same time, I stumbled across the pairing of Cinderella and Let's Dance in the Story World/Real World paired texts series.
I know my kids love to dance, and I decided to create a resource that would let them learn a little about different types of dance and do some writing, and then we would have a "Final First Grade Friday" Dance Party.
First I read the children Cinderella. We reviewed the fictional story format, and then I had the children complete a worksheet outlining the characters, setting, plot, and sequence of the story.
Next, I read the informational text Let's Dance to the class. After reading and discussing, we went over four different types of dance using flashcards I had made, and we watched YouTube video clips (prescreened for content) illustrating the four types of dance I chose to focus on: hip-hop, ballet, ballroom dancing, and '80s-style let-the-music-move-you dancing, which I referred to as free dancing. After viewing the clip for each style of dance, I played it again, letting the children attempt to dance in the same style. They also competed a little booklet about the types of dance.
Finally it was time for the "Final First Grade Friday" dance party! Again, I used prescreened brain break videos on YouTube and let the children dance along. They had a great time. One boy asked me if he could dance his own way instead of dancing like the video. My answer: of course you can!
Just like at a real dance, some of the children were either too shy or too cool to dance!
All-in-all, our "Final First Grade Friday" dance party was a huge success, and I was proclaimed "the awesomest teacher ever!" for making such a fun lesson that combined a little bit of learning and writing with a lot of fun.
If you would like to try the dance party in your room, you can download the file at the bottom of the page.
I hope your last days of school are fantastic!
Lesley Boatright is an Early Childhood/Elementary Education teacher from Southwestern Pennsylvania. After graduating college, she moved to South Florida, where she taught kindergarten in the Palm Beach County School District for 8 years. After having children, she decided (with her husband) that Florida was too far away from the rest of the family, and she moved back to her hometown, where she took a few years off to spend time with her son. She has been teaching in the parochial school system for 18 years now, first at kindergarten, and currently in a first grade classroom. Lesley has also taught 2nd and 3rd grade Spanish and 4th grade social studies. Visit Lesley at her Facebook page, blog, Pinterest, and on Teachers Pay Teachers to get great teaching ideas.
For more information about the Story World Real World series shown in this post, click here to visit our website, or click the image on the left below to download a series information sheet with key features. To download the booklet sheets, click the image to the right.