Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Animal Yoga

Subject Area

Arts Education
English Language Arts




Students will create audio recordings of short poems and will select movements to express the ideas and descriptions included in the poems.

This activity was created as a result of the Arts COS Resource Development Summit.

    English Language Arts (2021) Grade(s): 2


    Demonstrate oral literacy skills by participating in a variety of oral language activities.

    Unpacked Content



    • Oral literacy skills
    • Oral language activities


    Students know:
    • Oral literacy skills include speaking, listening, and comprehending.


    Students are able to:
    • Demonstrate oral literacy skills in a variety of oral language activities, such as creating oral stories, participating in oral dramatic activities, reciting poems and stories.


    Students understand that:
    • Practicing their oral literacy skills through a variety of activities will help improve their speaking, listening, and comprehension abilities.
    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): 2 - Dance


    Select movements that express an idea or emotion or follow a musical phrase and explain reasons for movement choices.

    Unpacked Content



    • prompts
    • elements of dance
    • locomotor
    • non-locomotor
    • dance phrase
    • structure
    • concept and inspirations
    • for choreography
    • dance phrase
    • improvisation
    • notation

    Essential Questions

    EU: The elements of dance, dance structures, and choreographic devices serve as both a foundation and a departure point for choreographers.
    EQ: What influences choice-making in creating choreography?

    Skills Examples

    • Execute a sequence of movements in different ways (i.e., different levels, timing, directions, body parts).
    • Create a dance based on a short story, with a beginning, middle and end.
    • Create a dance to a short poem and explain why movement expressed the idea.
    • Improvise movement to verbs and adjectives. Recall the movement and sequence to repeat.
    • Using basic stick figures to draw shapes used in a series of movements.

    Anchor Standards

    Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    Students will create audio recordings of selected poems, adding created yoga poses as a "visual display".

    Students will select movements to express the ideas and feelings in their selected poems.

    Activity Details

    1.) Students will review what a poem is and how to read them expressively.

    2.) Students will view the "ABCs of Yoga - 5-Minute Yoga" video and follow along with the yoga poses described.

    3.) Students will each choose a yoga poem from the book, The ABCs of Yoga for Kids, that they will be recorded reading expressively. Note: The teacher may want to only give the students the written poem and not show them the picture of the pose, giving the students more freedom to create a pose of their own.

    4.) Students will practice reading their chosen poem expressively.

    5.) Students will select or create non-locomotor movements that express the ideas and descriptions in the poem. For example, standing on one leg to represent a flamingo or getting down on all fours like a cat and putting one leg in the air to represent the cat's tail, etc.

    6.) Students will be recorded reading their poems expressively. 

    7.) Students will add a visual display element to their recordings by performing their created/selected non-locomotor movements while their audio recording is played.

    8.) After performing their pose, students will verbally explain why they chose those particular movements and how they expressed the ideas in their assigned poem.

    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    Students' recordings will be assessed based on expressiveness (timing, emphasis, phrasing, intonation), pronunciation, clarity, and the appropriateness of their selected visual display (pose).

    Students will be assessed based on their explanations of how their chosen movements/poses express or represent their assigned poem. How well did the movement match the poem? Did they explain it? If the movement didn't seem to match, were they able to justify why it did?

    Variation Tips

    Instead of just an audio recording, the teacher could do a video recording that captures both the reading of the poem and the yoga pose.

    After the recording is played once and the student presents his/her pose, the recording could be played again and the rest of the class could follow along with the pose.

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Students should already be familiar with reading poetry expressively and additional advance exposure to yoga/movement is recommended.

    The following book is required for this activity:

    Power, Teresa Anne. (2009) The ABCs of Yoga for Kids. Stafford House. ISBN-13: 978-0982258705

    An audio (or video) recording device is required for this activity.

    It should be explained to students that yoga is a non-locomotor activity and students should remain in their designated personal space, not move around the room.

    Digital Tools / Resources