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Name of Activity:

Dancing with Math

Purpose of Activity:

To introduce students to a dance which is based on 4 different math shapes – square, 90 degree angle, straight line (180 degrees) and ¼ of a circle (90 degree arc).

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

4 floor markers per child (poly spots, cards, etc.) If the gym floor has lines on it, students may be able to use these lines as they set up the dance.
PowerPoint (PDF) for teachers to project on wall to help kids learn dance.
Assessment Sheet

Recommended music:

All About that Bass by Kids Bop. This dance will work well with a number of songs. Try it with any of your favorite recordings.

Beginning dance formation:

Students can be placed randomly around the room as long as each child has adequate space to safely perform the dance.

Description of Idea

This PowerPoint (PDF) is included with this dance so that teachers can project this in the gym and incorporate reading and critical thinking into the class as students try to interpret the instructions on their own.

This dance activity focuses on making math shapes. The students will construct a square, use jumps to make a 90 degree angle, slide in a straight line (180 degrees) and pivot in ¼ of a circle. (90 degree arc)

Step #1 – Creating a square – Students can read the directions on the PowerPoint (PDF) and try to set up their own square:

Place one card where you are standing.
Counts 1-4 - Move 4 steps to the R – Step, close, step, close - Place your second card on the floor
Counts 5-8 - Move 6 steps forward (they must = your first 4) and place a 3rd card on the floor
Step LRL (5&6) Step RLR (7&8)
Move 4 steps to the L (step, close, step, close) and place your 4th card on the floor
Move 6 steps back (they must = your 6 steps from the other side)
Step RLR (5&6) Step LRL (7&8)
If you are successful you are back where you started and you have created a square.

Step #2 – 8 counts – Jumping and creating a 90 degree angle

From your beginning spot jump forward (1-2), jump backward (3-4), complete your 90 degree angle by jumping to the RLRL (5-8)

Step #3 – 8 counts –Making a Straight Line – 180 degrees, and a ¼ turn – 90 degrees

Touch your R foot out to the R, touch it back in next to your L foot (Counts 1-2). Take a step out to the R to the 2nd card you placed and slide the L foot over to the R (Counts 3-4)

Pivoting on your L foot and tapping your R foot make ¼ of a circle (Counts 5-8) – 90 degrees

The students are now facing the wall that was directly to their L. If they look at the cards they placed on the floor they still have a square to dance on. Each turn should allow the students to face a different wall, but still have their markers to guide them.


It is not really necessary to do this dance exactly as it is written. For instance, younger students can march and make their square. The emphasis should be on learning the figures and making them with the dance steps.

Assessment Ideas:

Ask children to identify the shapes that they made with their feet. Use this assessment sheet.

Assessment Sheet


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Dancing with Math

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Let others know how this idea went when you implemented/tried it with your kids. Include any variations, suggested teaching tips, positive comments, etc. so others can benefit from your tips. Please be helpful and positive with all comments. Look below to see all posted comments.



Previous Comments:

Stephanie W.

I love this! I have a special needs student who has trouble hopping side to side, so I substituted side stepping for her. This is a great introduction to square dancing without saying it is a square dance! I would ask if you have suggestions for rhythm activities such as this for non-ambulatory students as well?


its really a great idea, thanks

Eva Azari

I like it so much! Congratulations and thanks for share this great idea for theaching rhythm. Im from Hungary and im a p.e. theacher in a local high school. Our renewed syllabus says we have to teach rhythm and it is an easy followed excercise in the first trip. I am shure i will use it.
Thanks: Eva from Hungary


Can you please post the PowerPoint that goes with this lesson? Thanks!

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