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Teacher: Karol Matthews who teaches at Dreamkeepers Academy @ JJ Roberts Elem in Norfolk, VA. Karol Matthews can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Writing for Fun

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To integrate writing skills into the Physical Education and Dance curriculum.

Suggested Grade Level: 3-5

Materials Needed: Dance unit, music, pencils, paper, tools for research to assist students.

Writing for Fun

Students receive instruction in a variety of dance skills. Upon completion of the dance unit, students will write a Pen Pal letter to describe their personal experience during the dance unit. They will be required to do their own research to learn more about 2 dances of their choice. They are required to share this information in their Pen Pal letter. (Note: Actual sample of a student letter below):

Dear Pen Pal,

Hello, my name is _____________. I am in the 5th grade at _____________ school. Our fifth grade class has been learning about various types of dance movements during our Physical Education class. We also performed a creative ribbon dance and an aerobic fitness dance to music. This week we will learn how to do the Funky Monkey, Electric Slide, and a Square dance.

I would like to share with you some of the information that I have discovered during my research about dance. The Cha Cha Slide came from Chicago. The musical artist makes the dance easy as he gives instructions what you need to do. First, you walk to the right then to the left. Then you walk backand hop forward as may times as he tells you. All you have to do is repeat it! In between that he directs you to do cute dances like the Charlie Brown.

The next dance I want to tell you about is easy too. It is the Bunny Hop. First, you tap your foot to times to the right, do the same with your left. Next, you hop backwards then forward and hop, hop, hop! Then you turn counter clockwise and repeat it!

Do you think you would like to do the Cha Cha Slide and the Bunny Hop or another one of our P.E. dances. Write back to tell me what you are doing in your P.E, Class.


Research Dance List:
Alegrias, Bunny Hop, Can Can, Cha-Cha, Clogging, Fandango, Fox Trot, Gato, Hula, La Cueca, Mambo, One Step,Rumba, Salsa, Shimmy, Square Dance, Tango, Twist, Two Step, Waltz, Zambra and more


This assignment can be done as a homework assignment. Students can seek the assistance of their parents to help them with their research.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Physical Education teachers can get classroom teachers to help with this assignment as needed. It is also a great idea to pass the finished Pen Pal letters on to another school. This would be a great way to get students to write.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Students with disabilities can partner up with another student who can assist them with this assignment.

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Posted on PEC: 4/3/2006 and has received 75 votes.

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