Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Performing a Story Through Dance

Subject Area

English Language Arts
Arts Education




The students will use a story they have previously studied and identify the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Then the students will be put into 3 groups. Each group will use elements of dance to create an improvisational dance to retell their part of the story. 

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

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


    Identify and describe the main story elements in a literary text.

    Unpacked Content



    • Identify
    • Describe
    • Characters
    • Settings
    • Important events
    • Literary text


    Students know:
    • Main story elements in a literary text.


    Students are able to:
    • Identify the main story elements (characters, settings, and important events) in a literary text.
    • Describe the main story elements (characters, settings, and important events) in a literary text.


    Students understand that:
    • Identifying the characters, setting, and important events in a text help them better understand the overall meaning of the text.
    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): KG - Dance


    Perform an improvisational dance that has a beginning, middle, and end.

    Unpacked Content



    • locomotor
    • non-locomotor
    • non-locomotor vs locomotor movements
    • elements of dance
    • choreography
    • improvisation
    • structure
    • concepts and inspiration for choreography
    • feedback and revision
    • 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

    • Demonstrate locomotor and non-locomotor movements (i.e., running, skipping, twisting, falling).
    • Identify elements of movement that are personally difficult to perform and discuss how this impacts movement choice in choreography.
    • Identify how it feels to perform the same movement fast and slow.
    • Create a connected shape, improvise while disconnected, and finish back in original connected shape.
    • Perform improvised movement based on a famous painting.
    • Identify how the movement changes if an element is performed differently, such as taking the movement from a high level to a low level.
    • Create three movements and develop a symbol to go with each (such as ⟲ for turn).

    Anchor Standards

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


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    The students will retell a familiar story using dance to show the beginning, middle, and end of the story. 

    Activity Details

    1. Using a story the students are familiar with, have them identify the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Suggestions are below.
    2. Divide the students into three groups. A beginning group, middle group, and an ending group.
    3. In their groups, each group needs to identify 3 key elements from their part of the story. 
    4. Now students will create a dance movement for each element.
    5. One student will narrate the elements while the rest of the group dances.
    6. Add the groups together to complete the sequence dance to retell the story. 
    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Book suggestions:

    The Great Turkey Race

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    The Three Little Pigs

    The Little Red Hen