Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Expressive Movement With A Poem

Subject Area

Arts Education




Students will use expressive movement to illustrate the poem "Waves" by Tasha Lim.

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

    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): KG - Dance


    Illustrate an idea, feeling, or image through improvised movement.

    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

    Students will illustrate the feelings associated with a poem through improvised movement.

    Activity Details

    Read the poem "Waves" by Tasha Lim.

    Ask students about how the waves are described in each verse.

    Have students practice expressing feelings through movement by calling out emotions and having them move their bodies to show the emotion. For example - excited, scared, calm.

    Read the poem and ask students to move their bodies to show the feelings expressed in the poem.

    Allow students to take turns performing for each other alone or in groups.

    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    Use informal observation to see if students are able to express emotions through movement.

    Variation Tips

    Add rhythm instruments or objects in the room to make sounds that also show the expressiveness of the poem.

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Read the poem and identify expressive words.