30-minute lesson plans for 3-5 year olds

Music Resources: AlphaBeat, Songs for Dancing, Brain Bop, Step on the Beat
Props and supplies: Tambourine and stick, yoga dots, small traffic cones

Lesson 1 

Concept: Place (Self Space)  and  Social Skills (Listening, Body Control, Taking Turns, Imagining)

Note: Teach Body Shapes for Learning as you need them. (Songs for Dancing p. 55)

  1. Down By The Station – to come to the circle (Songs for Dancing #1)
  2. Welcome Song  (Songs for Dancing  #2)
  3. Listen and Repeat: Our Brains are inside our heads
    Brain Bop Warm Up with music (Brain Bop #1 & 2)
  4. Listen and Repeat: Self Space, Stay in one Spot
    Action Dance (AlphaBeat #10)
  5. Resting (Songs for Dancing  #38)
  6. Review Key ideas (see Listen and Repeat)
  7. Take the train back to the door (either Songs #1 or instrumental only #22)

Lesson 2

Concept: Direction

  1. Down By The Station – to come to the circle (Songs for Dancing #1)
  2. Change Heads/ Everybody Do This (1 set) (Songs for Dancing #4 & 5)
  3. Sodeo (AlphaBeat #1)
    Model Forward, Backward, Side to Side. Grab “up” and “down” telephones to “call the doctor”
    Tip: I think about stopping and I stop. (Use this to model preparing to stop and change directions from moving forward to moving backward, etc.)
  4. Little Birdies (Songs for Dancing #19)
    Model line of direction for flying.
  5. Resting (Songs for Dancing  #38)
  6. Closure

Lesson 3

Concept: Shapes & Body Parts

  1. Down By The Station – to come to the circle (Songs for Dancing #1)
  2. Brain Bop Warm Up (Brain Bop #1 & 2)
  3. Body Shapes Jam (AlphaBeat #8)
    Front-load the rhyming parts extensively. (See downloadable Companion Guide on AlphaBeat page for rhymes)
    Do once sitting, once standing.
  4. Stick Together (Step on the Beat #3)
    First, practice “driving” through the space with a magic dot, dropping the dot on the ground, standing on the dot/jumping on the dot, picking it up and repeating.  Next, everyone starts on their own perfect spot.  Practice sticking parts together to make a shape and traveling in that shape.  Keep this part brief.  Then put on the music.
    Tip: I think about stopping and I stop. (Use this to model transition from traveling to stopping to make shapes)

3. Shape Song (Songs for Dancing #8)   Use visual support downloadable from the CD


Lesson 4

Concept: Energy (Smooth, Sharp, Shaky, Swinging)

  1. Down By The Station – to come to the circle (Songs for Dancing #1)
  2. Change Heads/
    Everybody Do This (2nd set) (Songs for Dancing #6 & 7)
    Twist – March – Yawn/Sleep – Kick
  3. Concept Introduction using letter “S” visual supports
    Sm = Smooth
    Sh = Shaky, Sharp
  4. Popcorn and Melted Butter (Songs for Dancing #16)
    Reflection: When were we smooth?  Sharp?  Shaky?
  5. Imaginary Journey (AlphaBeat #11)
    Reflection: Where did we go?  What did we do when we were there?
    Add two more “S” words.
    Sw = swinging (as we skipped through the meadow, which is a field with flowers and sunshine)
    St = still, stopped, stuck (when we were in ‘sticky glue.’)
  6. Resting/Closure/Reflection

Lesson 5

Concept: Speed – Slow and Fast

  1. Brain Bop Warm Up
  2. Drumtalk (AlphaBeat #7) or live with tambourine and stick
  3. Introduce the concept
  4. Trip to the Zoo (Songs for Dancing #15)
    Show Animal Pictures first (see downloadable visuals).
    Decide on speeds with the children.
    Use cones or dots to divide the space into two lands, slow and fast.
    See DVD for detailed modeling ideas.
  5. Resting
  6. If time: Little Birdies (Songs for Dancing #19)
    Reflect on when Birdies are slow and fast
  7. Closure

Lesson 6
Concept: Locomotor Movement Skills: Galloping and Skipping

  1. Warm Up: AlphaBeat #3-6,  Everybody Do This  or Brain Bop Warm Up
  2. Introduction to galloping (see Songs for Dancing DVD modeling)
  3. Galloping Song (do in two groups, divided into Apples and Oranges) (Songs for Dancing #11)
  4. Do Apples and Oranges (Step on the Beat #1) – with gallop away and back.
  5. Introduction to skipping (see Songs for Dancing DVD modeling)
  6. Skipping Song (whole group activity) (Songs for Dancing #12)
  7. Repeat Apples and Oranges – with skip (and gallop) away and back.
  8. Resting
  9. Review/Closure

March 3, 2012. Tags: , , , . Creative Dance Lesson Plans.


  1. Kerry replied:

    Yeah! These are wonderul! They look so fun as well! Thanks!

  2. Kerry replied:

    I was thinknig…… sometimes teach 45 minute lessons to 3-5 year olds. Should I teach be teaching any technique in such classes? If so, should I focus on posture (puppet strings) ect.? Thanks!

    • Kate Kuper replied:

      In a 45-minute class I have a Developing Skills section I often call “Beginning, Middle and End Dance.”

      We start in a line behind a dot. Children go one by one, crossing dots, cones, etc., practicing skills related to the concept of the day integrated with locomotor movement.

      Examples: Concept is Balance. Gallop to the first dot. Make a shape balancing with three parts on the floor. Gallop to the next dot. Balance with two parts on the floor. Gallop to the next dot. Balance with one part on the floor. Run and leap over the last dot (no parts on the floor!) to the end of the line.

      There is also room in the Warm Up to focus on technical skills.

      Finally, the definition of technique may be a stumbling block, because we are ALWAYS modeling body control and body awareness.

      • Kerry replied:

        Great! I really likke the skill with dots, cones exercises……… So I can incorporate “technique” inot the flooe braindance exercises. I see what you say though that technique is taight throughout the entire class. Off to the studio to update my lesson. Thanks so much for the ideas.

  3. Kerry replied:

    This could be a new topic………..

    The warmer weather/spring is here……..

    This past week I have noticed that “spring fever” has hit my classes – especially with ages 7 and under………Should lessons relect this change? What is the best way to channel this energy in a positive way?

  4. Stephanie replied:

    Hi does anyone know where i can get a hold of the music, such as songs for dancing, alphabeat, brain bop and step on the beat. As i cant find them anywhere. Will appreciate any help thank you.

    • Kate Kuper replied:

      Stephanie, All the materials are by me, available through my website: katekuper.com

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